On 5 December 2011, at about 1030 EDT a Taylorcraft model BC12-D aircraft, registered VH-PEE, was engaged in taxi trails as part of a pre-flight inspection for a flight scheduled late in the day. The pilot reported that, while using a grass runway, 26 km to the south-east of Gunnedah Aerodrome, NSW the aircraft was struck by a strong wind gust or Willy-willy and, on attempting to correct with engine power and right rudder, the aircraft veered off of the runway. He was unable to regain control and the aircraft subsequently struck a fence on the northern side of the runway and flipped over, coming to rest inverted. There were no injuries to the pilot. The aircraft incurred serious damage which included damage to the propeller, one wing strut and the wing surfaces.
Past studies have indicated that Willy-willies are unseen, unpredictable and can adversely affect light aircraft and helicopters when they are operating on or close to the ground. Pilots must be vigilant when operating in these areas and be prepared to react to mitigate the effects of Willy-willies and maintain control of the aircraft.
|Date:||05 December 2011||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||26 km south-east of Gunnedah||Investigation level:||Short|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Runway excursion|
|Release date:||14 March 2012||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Taylorcraft - Robert J Kuhlow|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Serious|