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.