Aviation safety investigations & reports

Assistance to the TAIC - Engine failure, Pacific Aerospace Ltd 750XL, Lake Taupo, New Zealand on 7 January 2015

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


On 7 January 2015, a Pacific Aerospace Limited 750XL aeroplane, registered ZK-SDT and involved in commercial skydiving operations, departed Taupo aerodrome, New Zealand, with the pilot and 12 passengers on board. On climb through about 2,000 ft above ground level after take off, the single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engine failed suddenly. The six tandem pairs of skydivers and the pilot parachuted from the aeroplane, landing without injury. The unoccupied aeroplane crashed into the lake.

On 17 July 2015, the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) requested Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) assistance with a number of Australian aspects to their investigation. In accordance with paragraph 5.23 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, the ATSB appointed an accredited representative (ATSB investigator) to the TAIC investigation. The investigator assisted TAIC with its engine examination as part of an External Investigation under the provisions of the Australian Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The ATSB has finalised its support of this investigation. TAIC is responsible for the release of the final investigation report into this accident. Any enquiries in respect of the ongoing TAIC investigation or release of the investigation report should, in the first instance, be directed to the:

Transport Accident Investigation Commission
Level 16
80 The Terrace
PO Box 10-323
Wellington, 6143 New Zealand


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

General details
Date: 07 January 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
  Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Lake Taupo, New Zealand    
State: International   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 29 January 2016   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Pacific Aerospace Corporation  
Aircraft model 750XL  
Aircraft registration ZK-SDT  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Taupo Airport, New Zealand  
Destination Taupo Airport, New Zealand  
Last update 14 November 2018