Aviation safety investigations & reports

Flap cable failure and ground strike involving Airparts NZ FU-24, VH-TTD, 50 km ESE of Tamworth Airport, NSW, on 26 June 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 27 June 2016, the pilot of an Airparts (NZ) FU-24-950 aircraft, registered VH-TTD, was conducting agricultural operations from an airstrip about 50 km east-south-east of Tamworth Airport, New South Wales. The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft.

At about 1130 Eastern Standard Time, after having completed about 35 flights for that morning, the pilot started their next take-off run. The aircraft handled normally until shortly after lift-off, when at an airspeed of about 60 kt, the pilot heard a ‘bang’. The aircraft sank rapidly and the tail struck the runway surface. The aircraft became airborne again and struck a fence at the end of the runway, but continued to fly. The pilot flew the aircraft to Tamworth airport without use of the elevator flight control by managing the aircraft pitch attitude with power and trim. At about 10 ft above the runway at Tamworth airport, the pilot reduced the throttle to idle for the landing. The aircraft then pitched nose down and the nose wheel contacted the runway first and burst the nose wheel tyre. The aircraft stopped on the runway with minor damage and the pilot was not injured.

The post incident inspection found that the flap cable had failed due to corrosion along a short length of the cable in contact with one of the flap control system pulleys.

As a result of this incident, the maintenance organisation responsible for the previous periodic inspections has amended their inspection practices to include the removal of the pulley to facilitate inspection of the pulley and length of flap cable in contact with the pulley. 


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 53

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General details
Date: 26 June 2016   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 11:48 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 50 km ESE of Tamworth Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Flight control systems  
Release date: 14 October 2016   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airparts NZ Ltd  
Aircraft model FU-24-950  
Aircraft registration VH-TTD  
Serial number 186  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Last update 14 November 2018