At about 1030 Eastern Standard Time on 18 October 2010, a Cessna 172S aircraft, registered VH-VSK, was operating at low level near Durham Downs Homestead, Queensland. A pilot and one passenger were on board.
The pilot was assisting a ground party locate two horses. The aircraft was seen manoeuvring at low level before radio and visual contact was lost. A search later found that the aircraft had impacted terrain near a dry creek bed. Both occupants received fatal injuries and the aircraft was seriously damaged.
The aircraft's impact attitude was consistent with a loss of control following aerodynamic stall. The pilot was reported to have told another pilot a few days before the occurrence that the aircraft's stall warning system was inoperative. However, the status of the stall warning system at the time of the occurrence could not be confirmed. The investigation identified some other issues which also could have influenced the safety of the flight.
The aircraft operator introduced a number of changes to its
policies and procedures following the occurrence.