On 15 November 2012, an amateur-built SeaRey amphibious aircraft, registered VH-RRZ, was being operated on a private flight with only the pilot on-board. When the aircraft failed to arrive at its destination, search and rescue authorities were notified, and the aircraft was subsequently located on 16 November, having collided with terrain approximately 76 nautical miles north of Weipa, Qld. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the pilot had sustained fatal injuries.
The QLD Police Service (Northern Coronial Office) is investigating this occurrence. Following examination of the aircraft wreckage, QPS officers requested assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the recovery of data from a GPS unit found at the accident site. To protect the information supplied by the QLD Police Service and any data recovered from the examined device, the ATSB initiated an external investigation under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
The examination found that the GPS memory chip which contains the flight data was damaged and the data was therefore not able to be recovered. The GPS was returned to the QLD police.
Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.