Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine failure involving a Piper PA-46, VH TSV, 46 km SW Narrabri airport, NSW on 12 June 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 12 June 2014, a Piper PA-46 aircraft, registered VH-TSV, departed Dubbo, New South Wales for a private flight to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland with a pilot and one passenger on board. About an hour after departing Dubbo, when about 26 NM south of Narrabri, at about 13,500 ft AMSL, the pilot observed the engine manifold pressure gauge indicating 25 inches Hg manifold pressure, when the throttle position selected would normally have produced about 28 inches Hg. The pilot elected to descend to 10,000 ft, where the gauge still indicated only about 25 inches Hg. He turned the aircraft towards Narrabri in an attempt to fly clear of the Pilliga State Forest.

As the aircraft descended through about 8,000 ft, the oil pressure gauge indicated decreasing pressure. When passing about 6,500 ft, the oil pressure gauge indicated zero and the pilot heard two loud bangs. The pilot established the aircraft in a glide, secured the engine and completed the emergency checklist. He broadcast a ‘Mayday’ call and looked for a clear area below in which to conduct a forced landing but only identified heavily treed areas. The pilot extended the landing gear and selected 10° of flap and, when at about 1,000 ft, shut the fuel off, deployed the emergency beacon then switched off the electrical system.

As the aircraft entered the tree tops, the pilot flared to stall the aircraft. The pilot was seriously injured and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. A post-accident inspection of the engine found a hole in the right side of the crankcase, indicating an internal mechanical failure.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 34

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Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 282KB]


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General details
Date: 12 June 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1630 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 46 km SW Narrabri Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 03 September 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-46-310P  
Aircraft registration VH-TSV  
Serial number 46-8408022  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Dubbo, NSW  
Destination Sunshine Coast, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018