Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving a Beech A36, VH-PAK, near Southport Airport, Queensland on 16 August 2015

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 507KB]

On 16 August 2015, the pilot of a Beech A36 aircraft, registered VH-PAK, conducted a private flight from Pacific Haven to Southport, Queensland. The pilot reported that the aircraft engine ran normally throughout the cruise. At about 0945 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot joined the circuit at Southport Airport, with the intention to land on runway 19.

About 800 m from the runway threshold, at about 150 ft above ground level, the aircraft engine stopped. The pilot broadcast a Mayday call and conducted a forced landing. The aircraft collided with trees, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot was not injured.

The ATSB assessed that the engine ceased operating as a result of fuel exhaustion. This conclusion was due to the combination of starvation of fuel to the engine and the lack of fuel remaining on board.

Fuel management starts with knowing exactly how much fuel is on board at the commencement of each flight. It also relies on a method of knowing how much fuel the aircraft consumes. The likelihood of fuel starvation is reduced by adhering to procedures, maintaining a record of the fuel tank selections during flight and ensuring appropriate tank selections, particularly for take-off and landing.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin Issue 46

Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 507KB]

Read report


To download, click the link, then right-click and select Save As.

Copyright in material obtained from other agencies, private individuals or organisations, belongs to those agencies, individuals or organisations and should be credited accordingly.

General details
Date: 16 August 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0945 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Southport Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 28 January 2016   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model A36  
Aircraft registration VH-PAK  
Serial number E-1060  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Pacific Haven, Qld  
Destination Southport, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018