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Section 21 (2) of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act) empowers the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to discontinue an investigation into a transport safety matter at any time. Section 21 (3) of the TSI Act requires the ATSB to publish a statement setting out the reasons for discontinuing an investigation.

At about 1000 Western Standard Time on 10 September 2016, an Air Tractor AT-502 aircraft, registered VH‑ULV, was conducting aerial agricultural spraying activities at Salmon Gums, near Esperance, West Australia. During a turn at about 200 ft above the ground, the pilot lost control and the aircraft collided with terrain. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot sustained serious injuries.

Figure 1: VH-ULV showing damage
Air Tractor AT-502 aircraft, VH-ULV, showing damage
Source: Operator

Preliminary enquiries by the ATSB suggest that the accident was attributable to pilot actions. The ATSB considered it was very unlikely that further investigation would uncover any systemic safety issues. The ATSB has discontinued the investigation.

General details
Date: 10 September 2016 Investigation status: Discontinued 
Time: 10:00 WST  
Location   (show map):near Esperance Airport (Salmon Gums) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 20 September 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Discontinued Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Air Tractor Inc 
Aircraft model: AT-502 
Aircraft registration: VH-ULV 
Serial number: 502-0130 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Unknown
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Last update 20 September 2016