Aviation safety investigations & reports

Transavia PL12, VH-BPR, 7km south of Avenel VIC, 21 April 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had been spreading in the general area of the strip for most of the afternoon. When he commenced operations to the south of the strip an area of sink was experienced on approach to the selected paddock. To allow for this, a reduced weight was uplifted on following flights, and a further six loads were spread successfully. However, as he commenced the turn to line up for the first spreading run with a new load, strong sink and turbulence were encountered. Realising that the aircraft would not clear a line of trees, the pilot continued the turn to the left but the angle of bank suddenly increased and the nose pitched down. The pilot dumped the load and applied right rudder but the aircraft struck the ground heavily. No defect with the aircraft was subsequently discovered which may have contributed to the development of the accident. It was likely that the aircraft was affected by a strong wind gust, which generated a substantial downdraft. The aircraft stalled during the pilot's efforts to avoid the trees, and there was insufficient height available in which a recovery could be effected. It was possible that had the pilot dumped the load before the aircraft stalled, the aircraft may have had sufficient performance to counteract the downdraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 21 April 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1558    
Location: 7km south of Avenel    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 20 August 1986   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Transavia Corp Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model PL-12  
Aircraft registration VH-BPR  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Agricultural strip near Avenel VIC  
Departure time 1558  
Destination Agricultural strip near Avenel VIC  
Last update 13 May 2014