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What happened

On the morning of 29 April 2012, the owner-pilot of a Cessna 150 aircraft, registered VH-UWR was aerial stock mustering on a cattle station about 55 km north-east of Bourke, New South Wales. Some early patches of fog cleared such that the weather conditions were fine and calm.

After about 1.5 hours in the air, the pilot radioed stockmen on the ground to direct them to an area where cattle were not moving. The aircraft was observed circling over the area then in a steep descent followed by the sound of an impact. The aircraft was seriously damaged and the pilot sustained fatal injuries.

What the ATSB found

While manoeuvring at low level the pilot inadvertently allowed the aircraft to aerodynamically stall, resulting in a high rate of descent and collision with terrain. There was insufficient information about pilot control inputs to establish the factors that precipitated the stall.

The pilot did not hold a valid medical certificate and had not completed a flight review for a number of years, increasing the risks of operating an aircraft, especially during aerial stock mustering.

Safety message

Pilot proficiency can decline without regular practice of non-routine procedures under the supervision of instructors or approved training/check pilots. As such, pilots should take every opportunity to refresh their knowledge and skills, at a minimum during a flight review every two years.

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General details
Date: 29 April 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0800 EST  
Location   (show map):55 km NE of Bourke Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 18 June 2013 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 150 
Aircraft registration: VH-UWR 
Serial number: 15079278 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Departure point:Warraweena Homestead, NSW
Destination:Warraweena Homestead, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2018