Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA-24, VH-COM, St George QLD, 12 January 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was cruising normally at 7000 feet when the engine failed without warning. The pilot carried out checks and attempted to restart the engine without success. During the ensuing forced landing the pilot prematurely turned off the master switch, therefore, the wheels did not extend when he selected gear down. The engine failure was caused by the separation of crankshaft idler gear teeth due to high cycle low stress fatigue which had initiated from pre-existing overload cracks at the base of the teeth.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 12 January 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1540    
Location: St George    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 16 March 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-24  
Aircraft registration VH-COM  
Serial number 24-97  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point "Lea Wah" (Near Bollon) QLD  
Departure time 1516  
Destination Toowoomba QLD