Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft loss of control - de Havilland Canada DHC-2 MK 1, VH-PCF, Green Island, Cairns, Qld, 23 October 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 23 October 2010, a De Havilland Canada DHC-2 MK 1 floatplane, registered VH-PCF, was being operated on a charter passenger flight from Green Island to Cairns, Queensland.

During the takeoff, the pilot applied right rudder to counteract the aircraft's engine torque component and right aileron to compensate for the crosswind. Immediately after becoming airborne, the aircraft began turning to the left. The pilot rejected the takeoff and the aircraft landed heavily, sustaining serious damage. The pilot could not recall if the aircraft had encountered a gust of wind after becoming airborne.

Shortly after, a boat arrived from Green Island and the passengers were assisted to shore. None of the aircraft occupants received injuries.

At the time of the accident, the wind conditions experienced at Green Island were close to the maximum operational limitations stipulated by the aircraft operator.

This accident is a reminder of the challenging conditions that pilots operating in an open water environment may be faced with. It is crucial that pilots have an appreciation of the existing wind conditions prior to the takeoff, and in the event of unexpected wind gusts during the takeoff, the pilot responds appropriately. Under these circumstances, it is important for pilots to not only be aware of aircraft and operator limitations, but also their own personal limitations.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.37MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.86MB]
General details
Date: 23 October 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1620 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Green Island, Cairns    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Control - Other  
Release date: 28 January 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-2  
Aircraft registration VH-PCF  
Serial number 1348  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Green Island, Qld  
Destination Trinity Inlet, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018