Aviation safety investigations & reports

Turbulence - Piper PA-30, VH-MAC, near Albury Airport, NSW, 16 February 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 16 February 2011, a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-30 aircraft, registered VH-MAC, was being operated on a private flight from Coldstream, Victoria, to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, via Strathbogie, Wangaratta Vic. and Albury, NSW, under the instrument flight rules. On board the aircraft were the pilot and one passenger. In preparation for the flight, the pilot had submitted a flight plan and obtained an aviation meteorological area forecast the previous evening.

After departure from Coldstream aerodrome, the pilot obtained clearance to 9,000 ft above mean sea level. While flying in light cloud and passing NE of Albury, tracking to Canberra, the aircraft encountered severe turbulence. After experiencing uncommanded climbs and descents continuously for nearly 35 minutes, while at times becoming inverted, the pilot saw terrain through a break in the cloud and flew clear of the cloud. The pilot then decided to divert to Albury and landed safely a short time later.

The pilot stated that in future, he would check the aviation area forecast prior to departure.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 4.28MB]
General details
Date: 16 February 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1047 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Albury Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Turbulence/windshear/microburst  
Release date: 12 September 2011   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-30  
Aircraft registration VH-MAC  
Serial number 30-1869  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Coldstream, Vic.  
Destination Canberra, ACT  
Last update 14 November 2018