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On 28 March 2014, the aircraft departed Numbulwar, Northern Territory on climb to a planned cruising altitude of 4,500 ft above mean sea level (AMSL). When about 22 NM west of Numbulwar, the passenger felt a bump and detected smoke emanating from the floor area beside the pilot. The pilot broadcast a ‘MAYDAY’ call on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) advising of an engine failure and also that there were no roads in sight on which to conduct a forced landing, only trees.

The pilot of HGZ then asked the passenger to retrieve the fire extinguisher, which the passenger passed to the pilot. The passenger reported that the smoke stopped very quickly. The aircraft descended and the pilot retrieved the portable emergency locator transmitter (ELT) from the front compartment, extended the antenna and activated it. The pilot advised the passenger to brace for landing.

The passenger reported that the aircraft landed heavily, skidded, and collided with two trees prior to coming to rest at an angle, but upright. The passenger quickly undid the seatbelt and exited the aircraft through the open right door, assisting the pilot out of the aircraft.

The passenger and the pilot moved about 10 m from the aircraft, prior to multiple explosions occurring. Both sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.

An initial engineering inspection found that a broken connecting rod was the most likely cause of the engine failure.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 31

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General details
Date: 28 March 2014 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1150 CST  
Location   (show map):Numbulwar Aerodrome, W 93 km Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Forced/precautionary landing 
Release date: 17 June 2014 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: T210L 
Aircraft registration: VH-HGZ 
Serial number: 21060430 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Tindal, NT
Destination:Numbulwar, NT
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Last update 14 November 2018