Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical Assistance to RAAus - Collision with terrain involving Monnett Sonerai, 19-3971, near Murwillumbah, NSW on 16 May 2017

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed
Phase: Final report: Dissemination Read more information on this investigation phase


On 16 May 2017, an amateur-built Monnett Sonerai aircraft, recreational registration 19-3971, collided with terrain near Limpinwood, NSW. The pilot was fatally injured. Examination of the aircraft and accident site identified that the right wing had come to rest some distance away from the main accident site.

Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) commenced an investigation of this accident and requested technical assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the examination of the right wing components. Specifically, the ATSB was requested to identify if there were any metallurgical factors that may have contributed to the accident. RAAus also requested that the ATSB attempt to extract any flight data off a GPS unit recovered from the accident site. To protect the information supplied by RAAus to the ATSB, as well as the ATSB's investigative work to assist RAAus, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The ATSB identified that both the main and rear wing spars of the right wing fractured due to overstress. There was no evidence of fatigue or other pre-existing defects. The recovered GPS unit was examined, but no relevant data could be recovered.

The ATSB has completed its investigative work and any enquiries relating to the accident investigation should be directed to RAAus at: www.raa.asn.au/

The information contained in this update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

General details
Date: 16 May 2017   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1400 AEST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Murwillumbah (ALA)   Investigation phase: Final report: Dissemination  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 11 October 2018   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Amateur Built Aircraft  
Aircraft model Monnett Sonerai  
Aircraft registration 19-3971  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Sector Sport and recreational  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Last update 14 November 2018