Aviation safety investigations & reports

Terrain collision - Beech Aircraft, A36, VH-CKX, East Wallaby Island, Abrohlos Islands, WA, 26 April 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report - Bulletin
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On 26 April 2011, a Beech Aircraft Corporation A36 (Bonanza) aircraft, registered VH-CKX, departed Geraldton on a charter passenger flight to East Wallabi Island (in the Abrolhos Islands group), Western Australia.

When on final approach, the pilot reported that the aircraft was about 50 ft lower than normal, but he was not concerned. Soon after, the pilot glanced to the left at a maritime channel marker for about 2-3 seconds to ensure separation with the aircraft was adequate. The pilot then looked back at the runway and realised that the aircraft was too low. He immediately applied rearward pressure on the control column in an attempt to clear sand dunes. The aircraft collided with the sand dunes and bounced, before landing 50-60 m along the runway.

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that they have incorporated a checklist into their check and training procedures that details the assessment requirements when determining a pilot's competency for operating at the Abrolhos Islands.

This accident demonstrates the importance of establishing and maintaining the desired approach path by simultaneously adjusting the aircraft's power setting and attitude. It also highlights the unexpected nature of distractions and the impact they can have on aircraft operations.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[Download  PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 26 April 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 17:43 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): East Wallaby Island, Abrohlos Islands    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Runway - Other  
Release date: 12 December 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 36  
Aircraft registration VH-CKX  
Serial number E-540  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Destination East Wallaby Island, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018