On 15 August 2011, a Cessna Aircraft 177 aircraft, registered VH-DSA, departed Ballina, New South Wales, for a private flight to South Grafton, New South Wales. The pilot was the sole occupant. When the aircraft was about 12 minutes from South Grafton and cruising at 2,500 ft above mean sea level (AMSL), the pilot observed traffic below him at 1,500 ft AMSL. The pilot elected to remain at his cruising altitude until closer to the South Grafton aerodrome. When about 5 NM from the aerodrome, he made a right turn into downwind while approaching the runway from the west. He then reduced engine power and quickly descended.
At 1,000 ft, the pilot stated that when he advanced the engine
throttle, there was no response from the engine. He then completed
the normal recovery procedures for an engine failure, including
activation of carburettor heat. He advanced the throttle again but
there was still no response from the engine. The aircraft descended
at 500 ft/min with flaps extended, and the pilot attempted to
reduce speed from 80 kts to 70 kts. At 300 ft with full flap
extension and the stall warning sounding, he selected the master
switch to OFF, and prepared to land into wind. The aircraft landed
about 70 m short of the runway threshold and continued along the
ground for a short distance before impacting a shallow earth drain,
seriously damaging the aircraft.