Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving a Cessna C206, VH-TND at Rawnsley Park, SA on 2 August 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 2 August 2014, the pilot prepared the C206, VH-TND for the first of three scenic flights. As the aircraft departed from runway 03, the wind was from the east at about 8 knots.

On return to Rawnsley Park, the pilot conducted a straight in approach onto runway 21. The pilot did not compensate for the crosswind during the flare and touchdown, and after landing retracted all stages of flap, and applied light pressure to the brakes.

The aircraft then began to veer to the left. The pilot applied right rudder, but was unable to correct the situation, so initiated a go-around. During the go-around the horizontal stabiliser struck a shrub, causing significant damage to the aircraft.  The pilot lowered the aircraft nose. After clearing a small tree, the pilot raised the aircraft’s nose in an attempt to clear the windsock.

Moments later, the aircraft spun rapidly to the left and collided with the ground. The pilot shut down the aircraft and assisted the passengers to exit. One passenger sustained serious injuries and another sustained minor injuries. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

It appears that an incorrect technique was applied during the crosswind landing and subsequent go-around. The suddenness of the unexpected events during an otherwise routine exercise caught the pilot unprepared, resulting in a loss of situational awareness. 

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has available on their website a booklet and DVD looking at situational awareness. Chapter 6 specifically looks at Losing Situational Awareness.

This is available through CASA’s online store: www.casa.gov.au

The European General Aviation Safety Team (EASA) published a Safety Promotion Leaflet on Decision Making for General Aviation Pilots. This leaflet suggests that many accidents are the result of pilot action, including the decisions that they make.

This brochure is available at www.easa.europa.eu


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 36

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General details
Date: 02 August 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0900 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Rawnsley Park (ALA)    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 03 December 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 206H  
Aircraft registration VH-TND  
Serial number 20608318  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Rawnsley Park, SA  
Destination Rawnsley Park, SA  
Last update 14 November 2018