Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Cessna 208 Seaplane, VH-WTY, 11 km NE of Hamilton Island Airport, Queensland, on 28 January 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: Internal review Read more information on this investigation phase


Updated: 24 January 2019

The investigation into the collision with terrain of a Cessna 208 Seaplane, VH-WTY, 11 km north-east of Hamilton Island Airport, Queensland, on 28 January 2016 is continuing.

The final report has completed the drafting phase and is now undergoing an internal review.

Final ATSB investigation reports undergo a rigorous internal review process to ensure the report findings adequately and accurately reflect the analysis of available evidence. Final investigation reports also undergo other technical and administrative reviews to ensure the reports meet national and international standards for transport safety investigations.

Following the completion of the internal review, the report will be sent to directly involved parties for comment before the report is finalised and published.

Should any safety issues be identified during any phase of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.



The ATSB is investigating the collision with terrain involving a Cessna 208 seaplane near Hamilton Island, Queensland. During the approach to land, the seaplane bounced on the water and struck trees, causing substantial damage to the aircraft and minor injuries to one passenger.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB investigation team, comprising engineering and technical specialists, will:

  • interview the pilot and passengers
  • gather aircraft and pilot documentation
  • review the weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Any witnesses are asked to call the ATSB on 1800 020 616.

General details
Date: 28 January 2016   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 15:28 EST   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Hamilton Island, NE 11 km (Chance Bay)   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Minor  
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 208 Caravan  
Aircraft registration VH-WTY  
Serial number 20800522  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Hamilton Island, Qld  
Destination Chance Bay, Qld  
Last update 13 September 2019