Recovered aircraft wreckage consistent with a high speed impact

Recovered wreckage from a two-seat Yakovlev Yak-52 aircraft’s fatal collision with water near South Stradbroke Island, Queensland on 5 June 2019 was consistent with a high-speed impact, an ATSB preliminary report says.

Yakovlev Aircraft Factories Yak-52, VH-PAE. Source: Matthew Coughlin

The Yak-52 had departed Southport airfield with a pilot and passenger on board at about 9:45 am for a 30-minute low-level scenic flight that was planned to include some aerobatic manoeuvres.

After concerns were raised when the aircraft did not return by the designated time, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre initiated search and rescue operations. Part of the aircraft’s propeller was located on the eastern side of South Stradbroke Island late that afternoon, while in the following days, the fatally injured pilot and passenger, plus additional wreckage, was recovered from the same area.

Recovered aircraft wreckage was consistent with a high speed impact

The recovered wreckage, including a section of the left side of the fuselage and the tail section, a section of the right wing, seat cushions, and wooden propeller pieces, was indicative of a high-speed impact.

The ATSB’s ongoing investigation will focus on further examination of the recovered aircraft components, aircraft maintenance documentation, weather conditions, witness observations, and pilot qualifications, experience and medical history.

Read the preliminary report AO-2019-027: Collision with water involving a Yakovlev Aircraft Factories Yak-52, VH-PAE, near South Stradbroke Island, Queensland, on 5 June 2019

Last update 14 November 2019