Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Cessna A188B/A1, VH-ZAP, 43 km South of Forbes Airport, 1 January 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 1 January 2012, at about 0900 Eastern Daylight- savings Time, a Cessna Aircraft Company A188B/A1 aircraft registered VH-ZAP (ZAP) was conducting aerial work about 40 km south of Forbes, New South Wales. During the application of chemicals, the aircraft developed a high sink rate as a result of a downdraught and the left wing impacted trees. The subsequent post-impact fire seriously damaged the aircraft and the pilot received minor injuries. The pilot reported that he had difficulties activating the emergency dump control system to lighten the aircraft.

This accident highlights the risks associated with executing a turn when in close proximity to the ground. Such manoeuvres require heightened pilot vigilance regarding controlling the aircraft. In addition, pilots must be prepared to immediately identify the situation and act to control the aircraft, in order to compensate for a change in wind direction or downdraughts.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 5.65MB]
General details
Date: 01 January 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0900 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 43 km South Forbes Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 25 June 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 188  
Aircraft registration VH-ZAP  
Serial number 18803156T  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Last update 14 November 2018