Report released 2 December 2013

The ATSB is investigating the fatal aircraft accident involving a PZL-Mielec M18A Dromader, registered VH-TZJ, that occurred near Ulladulla, NSW at about 1004 on 24 October 2013. The aircraft was being used to conduct firebombing operations and while approaching the target point, the left wing separated. The aircraft immediately rolled left and descended, impacting terrain. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the pilot was fatally injured.
Preliminary examination indicated that the left outboard wing lower attachment lug had fractured through an area of pre-existing fatigue cracking in the lug lower ligament.