On 16 January 2011, at about 1800 Eastern Standard Time, a De Havilland Aircraft DH-82A (Tiger Moth) aircraft, registered VH-WHW (WHW), departed Toowoomba, Queensland on a private local flight.
On board was the pilot in command (PIC) and a flying instructor from the local Aero Club. The PIC conducted a pre-flight inspection, which included a check of the fuel, oil and control cables. He determined that WHW was serviceable and had sufficient fuel for the flight. There were no loose items in the aircraft's storage locker or in the cockpit.
About 15 minutes after takeoff, the flying instructor, who was acting as the handling pilot at the time, initiated a left turn to return to the airport. The PIC recalled that, during the turn, WHW suddenly pitched down followed by a second, even more severe, pitch down motion. Both the PIC and the handling pilot recalled that the control stick did not move when WHW pitched down.
In response to the sudden and uncommanded nose down motion, both pilots attempted to raise the nose by applying back pressure on the control stick. Their actions had no effect and WHW continued to pitch nose down until the aircraft became inverted.
The aircraft was about 100 ft above the trees and inverted when it began to climb. Both pilots felt significant g-force followed by the collision with the trees.
The aircraft came to rest upside down on the side of Mount Davidson in bushland. Both occupants sustained serious injuries.
|Date:||16 January 2011||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1820 EST||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Toowoomba Airport, SE M 11Km|
|State:||Queensland||Occurrence type:||Loss of control|
|Release date:||12 September 2011||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Aircraft manufacturer||de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Serious|
|Departure point||Toowoomba, Qld|