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On 25 June 2015, at about 1111 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 amphibian aircraft, registered VH-AWI (AWI), taxied at Hardy Lagoon aircraft landing area (ALA), for a flight to Shute Harbour, Queensland, with the pilot and seven passengers on board.

The Hardy Lagoon ALA had marker buoys to identify the location of the bomboras that were near each of the four take-off and landing areas. As per company policy, the pilot selected to start the take-off at buoy A on the orange run and then turn onto the yellow run. This combination of take-off runs allowed the pilot the maximum take-off distance, for the aircraft’s take-off weight.

The pilot taxied AWI to buoy A and lined up on the orange run. They then advanced the throttle slowly to commence the take-off. As AWI approached buoy B the engine was not at full power. The pilot commenced the turn onto the yellow run utilising the water rudders, which were in the down position. Coming out of the turn the pilot retracted the water rudders and applied right rudder to stop the turn and line up on the yellow run.

The pilot looked inside the cockpit to check the engine instrumentation and to see if the engine had reached full power. When the pilot looked outside again, they noticed that the nose of the aircraft had drifted too far to the left. AWI struck and passed over the Q coral reef bombora and the pilot closed the engine throttle. AWI continued moving forward, the left front skid slid onto the P bombora, and the aircraft came to a stop.

The pilot and seven passengers were uninjured and the aircraft sustained minor damage.

The incident highlights the importance of pre-flight decision making and planning for emergencies and abnormal situations for the particular aerodrome. A thorough pre-flight self-brief covering the different emergency scenarios may help to minimise safety critical decisions during a high workload situation such as a take-off.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 47

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General details
Date: 25 June 2015 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 11:00 EST  
Location   (show map):Hardy Lagoon ALA, near Shute Harbour Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 13 April 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Canada 
Aircraft model: DHC-2 MK 1 
Aircraft registration: VH-AWI 
Serial number: 298 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Hardy Lagoon, Qld
Destination:Shute Harbour, Qld
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Last update 17 October 2017