On 16 October 2014, the pilot of a Cessna 206 aircraft, registered VH-KRR, conducted a solo training flight from Bankstown to Cootamundra, New South Wales and return. At about 0800 Australian Eastern Daylight Time, the aircraft departed Bankstown Airport with full fuel and landed at Cootamundra Airport at about 0943.
After taxiing to the parking bay and shutting down the engine, the pilot dipped the fuel tanks. He reported that 100 litres remained in the right tank and 85 litres in the left. This indicated an actual fuel consumption rate of about 67-70 litres/hour, and about 12 litres less fuel remaining in the tanks than the pilot had expected.
At about 1022, the aircraft departed Cootamundra on a planned track to Bankstown via Rugby and Bindook. At about 1100, the pilot observed that the aircraft had deviated from the planned track and attempted to track direct to Bindook, however took up a heading of about 120°, which resulted in a further deviation from the planned track.
At about 1114, and at 5,500 feet above ground level, the aircraft’s engine surged and then stopped. The pilot conducted some emergency checks and sighted a suitable landing area. The aircraft collided with trees about 50 metres short of the intended landing site and was substantially damaged. The pilot sustained a minor injury.
The aircraft owners attended the accident site and reported that about 7 litres of fuel (unusable) remained in the right tank and none in the left. This incident highlights the importance of thorough pre-flight planning and monitoring and reassessing actual versus planned flight tracks and aircraft fuel consumption.