Wire-strike Accidents in General Aviation: Data Analysis 1994 to 2004


In June 2006, the ATSB released an aviation research investigation report titled Wire-strike Accidents in General Aviation: Data Analysis 1994 to 2004. Since the publication of this report the ATSB has received additional information from key industry stakeholders. As a result, the ATSB has made some revisions to the report to incorporate this advice.

Furthermore, a discrepancy was also identified in one of the tables, which has since been updated. Accordingly, the information contained in the report may differ slightly from that contained in the initial report.

Wire strikes are a significant safety concern for the aviation industry, in particular, the general aviation sector. Wire strikes may result in fatalities and/or the destruction of an aircraft. This report analyses the characteristics of wire-strike occurrences in the general aviation sector using accident and incident data collected by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The analysis found that 119 wire-strike accidents and 98 wire-strike incidents were reported between 1994 and 2004. The rate of wire-strike accidents reported per 100,000 hours flown ranged from around 0.9 in 1997 and 1998 to 0.1 in 2003. The figures suggested a downward trend beginning in 1998, with a return to previous accident rates in 2004. Reported wire-strike accidents were primarily in three of the statistical groups used by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for investigative purposes - aerial agriculture, other aerial work, and private/business. The majority of wire-strike accidents were associated with aerial agriculture operations (62 per cent) followed by other aerial work (20 per cent), and private/business operations (15 per cent). The findings reinforce the clear danger to pilots flying at low level in the vicinity of powerlines and the need to be proactive in reducing the risks associated with such, including the implementation of risk management plans, thorough pre-flight planning and preparation, ongoing training, the use of powerline markers, and due diligence and care.

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Author(s): ATSB
Publication date: 29 June 2006
ISBN: 1 921092 23 8
Related: Agriculture
Last update 07 April 2014
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