Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical assistance to Recreational Aviation Australia in the examination of a fractured eyebolt from the collision with terrain involving a Fasterway Powered Parachute, near Theodore, Qld. on 30 May 2015

Investigation number:
AE-2015-075
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final report

On 30 May 2015, a Fasterway powered parachute, recreational registration 19-7677, collided with terrain near Theodore, Queensland. The pilot, the sole occupant, died as a result of the accident.  

As part of its assistance to Queensland Coronial authorities, Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) requested technical assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the visual examination of a fractured bolt from the powered parachute (Figure 1). The bolt and associated eyenut was one of four assemblies that attached the parachute to the frame of the aircraft.

To protect the information supplied by RA-Aus to the ATSB and the ATSB's investigative work to provide the requested assistance, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

Figure 1: Submitted eyenut and fractured boltSubmitted eyenut and fractured bolt
Source: ATSB

The fracture surface was smooth, flat, and perpendicular to the principal axis of the bolt. Crack progression marks (beach marks) extended radially from one side of the bolt and covered approximately 90% of the fracture surface area (Figure 2). The remaining small region towards the outer edge of the bolt exhibited features consistent with an overstress failure. The large area of fatigue cracking and small overstress area indicated that failure of the bolt was due to high cycle low stress fatigue cracking.

Figure 2: Bolt fracture surface showing evidence of fatigue crack progression (beach) marksBolt fracture surface showing evidence of fatigue crack progression (beach) marks
Source: ATSB

The above information was provided to RA-Aus. At the request of the Coroner, no further work was undertaken by the ATSB.

The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

General details
Date: 30 May 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0800 EST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Theodore    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 15 January 2016   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft model Fasterway powered parachute  
Aircraft registration 19-7677  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Sector Sport and recreational  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Theodore, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018