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On 31 December 2013, at about 1230 Eastern Daylight-savings Time, a Grumman G-164A aircraft, registered VH-CCF, took off to the west, from an airstrip about 18 km north of Deniliquin, New South Wales, to conduct aerial spraying spreading operations.

The pilot reported applying a higher power setting than normal for take-off to allow for the warm temperature (about 25 ˚C) and short airstrip. When at about 150 ft above ground level (AGL), the pilot levelled the aircraft off and commenced a right turn towards the north. During the turn, the pilot felt the aircraft sink. The pilot rolled the wings level and elected not to jettison the chemical fertilizer load at that time as the aircraft normally stopped sinking once the wings were level. However, the aircraft continued to sink and the pilot then jettisoned the load.

When at about 20-30 ft AGL, with a nose high attitude, the pilot felt the aircraft’s wings shaking, indicating an imminent stall. The pilot increased engine power in an attempt to avert the stall, but the aircraft continued to descend. Shortly after, the wheels touched down in a rice paddy in about 20 cm of water and the aircraft flipped over. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was uninjured.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin Issue - 27

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