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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.

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General details
Date: 01 January 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0900 EDT  
Location   (show map):43 km South Forbes Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 25 June 2012 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
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 
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Last update 18 April 2018