Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with water involving Cessna 208B, VH-FAY, 185 km NE of Tokyo, Japan, on 27 September 2018

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


Update: 27 September 2019

The investigation into uncontrolled flight into water involving Cessna 208B, VH-FAY, 260 km north-east of Tokyo, Japan, on 27 September 2018 is continuing.

ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed numerous information sources including:

  • radar and GPS data
  • recorded audio transmissions
  • photographs of the aircraft in flight
  • aircraft documentation
  • pilot qualifications and experience
  • fuel supply and consumption data
  • procedures and planning in relation to oxygen management
  • in-flight weather conditions
  • the aircraft operator’s procedures in relation to the ferry flight.

The investigation is currently in the internal review phase. During this phase, the draft investigation report undergoes a rigorous internal review process to ensure it adequately and accurately reflects the evidence collected, analysis, and agreed findings of the Safety Factor Review.

If the review identifies any issues with the report, such as information that needs to be expanded or findings that need to be modified, investigators will look to collect new evidence or conduct additional examination and analysis of existing evidence.

Once the internal review phase is complete, a draft of the final report will be sent to all directly involved parties for their comment before the report is finalised and published.

Currently, the anticipated completion and publication release date of the final report is during the fourth quarter of 2019. However, should any critical safety issues be identified during any phase of this investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.



Initial summary: 4 October 2018

The ATSB is investigating a collision with water involving Cessna 208B, VH-FAY, 185 km NE of Tokyo, Japan, on 27 September 2018.

During a ferry flight from Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands to New Chitose Airport, Japan, the aircraft disappeared from radar over the Pacific Ocean. Parts of the destroyed aircraft were subsequently located during an air and sea search at the last recorded position, approximately 185 km north-east of Tokyo. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, has not been located.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will review available data and gather additional information.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 27 September 2018   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0626 UTC   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 185 km north-east of Narita International, Japan   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: International   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 27 September 2019   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Unknown  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2019    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 208B  
Aircraft registration VH-FAY  
Serial number 208B0884  
Operator CGG Aviation (Australia)  
Type of operation Business  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Saipan, Northern Mairiana Islands  
Destination New Chitose Airport, Japan  
Last update 02 October 2019