Summary

Summary

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.