On 20 January 2011, a Pacific Aerospace Corporation Cresco 08-600 aircraft, registered VH-KPY, was conducting a low level survey flight in the vicinity of Bingara, New South Wales.
The survey flight was conducted at 130 ft above ground level. During the fourth survey line the aircraft struck a powerline. The powerline was strung between two hilltops about 1,000 m apart at a height of 130 ft.
Following the collision with the powerline, the pilot noticed the wing skin was torn and he experienced some difficulties in controlling the aircraft.
The pilot elected to conduct a forced landing. During the landing the right wing collided with a hay bale. The pilot was not injured.
As a result of this accident, the aircraft operator intends to contact the power authority in each state to request the location of powerlines which they will overlay onto their Google Earth and topographic plans. It is proposed that this will occur on all surveying flights that present a risk.
The operator is also considering increasing the minimum height at which a survey can be conducted. If lower survey heights are required, and assessed to be suitable, they will be conducted by more experienced flight crew.