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On 19 November 2015, at about 1455 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Jabiru J430 aircraft, registered VH-SZQ (SZQ), departed Kingaroy for Goondiwindi, Queensland.The pilot was the only person on board the private flight.

Earlier that day, the pilot had departed Bundaberg, where the aircraft engine had undergone maintenance that involved the installation of new engine cylinder barrels and piston rings.

During the cruise at about 6,500 ft, and about 40 minutes after departing Kingaroy, the pilot heard a noise coming from the aircraft engine, which then started to vibrate. The pilot moved the engine throttle control to the idle position, and about 8 seconds later the pilot heard a metallic noise and the engine stopped.

The pilot established the aircraft in a glide and looked for a suitable forced landing area. The pilot turned towards a property where they could see people, houses, sheds and a highly visible white road.

The pilot completed the downwind and forced landing checks, and left the electrical master switch on to adjust the flap position when required.

At about 50 feet on final approach, the pilot selected full flap and selected the electrical master switch off. The pilot sideslipped the aircraft to descend quicker. Consequently, the pilot realised that the aircraft’s speed was too fast to land on the landing area before a cattle grid and climbed slightly to clear the cattle grid.

The left main landing gear collided with the grid and failed, partially remaining attached to the aircraft. The pilot flared for a landing and the left landing gear dug into the ground and swung the aircraft to the left. The aircraft subsequently collided with a fence and came to a stop about 100 m beyond the cattle grid. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

Pilots should consider regularly updating forced landing options during a flight, particularly in the event of a time critical situation. Where emergency situations arise, an early in-flight emergency notification will assist in expediting the desired outcome – a safe landing. 


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 49

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General details
Date: 19 November 2015 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 16:00 EST  
Location   (show map):Oakey Airport, 56 km WNW Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
Release date: 27 July 2016 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Amateur Built Aircraft 
Aircraft model: Jabiru J430 
Aircraft registration: VH-SZQ 
Serial number: 313 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Bundaberg, Qld
Destination:Bendigo, Vic.
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Last update 14 November 2018