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At 0720 Western Standard Time on 15 June 2011, a Piper Aircraft PA-46-310P Malibu, registered VH-FAL, departed from Doolgunna Station, on a private flight to Meekatharra WA, with the pilot and one passenger on board.

While on finals to land at Meekatharra, the pilot initiated a go-around due to another aircraft occupying the runway.

On the downwind leg of the second approach, the engine lost power and the aircraft impacted terrain about 500 m short of the runway threshold. Both occupants sustained injuries.

The pilot stated that his usual actions were to set the aircraft fuel selector to  the fullest fuel tank for takeoff, then manage the fuel balance by appropriate tank selection during the flight. He stated that as this process was routine for him, he could not actually recall having made a change to the tank selection during the flight

To ensure the safe conduct of a flight, it is crucial that pilots establish a disciplined cockpit routine that covers all critical aspects of in-flight management.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[ Download PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 15 June 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0845 WST  
Location   (show map):Meekatharra Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 12 December 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-46 
Aircraft registration: VH-FAL 
Serial number: 4608073 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
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Last update 01 March 2016