Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna A185E, VH-RKZ, Maitland NSW, 12 January 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was carrying out circuits and landings. Following a touch-and-go landing, the pilot had just reduced power at about 200 feet above ground level when the engine failed completely. The pilot turned the aircraft back towards the runway. After completing the turn, he realised he was too high and fast, with a 15 knot tailwind, to land on the runway. Sighting a paddock to his left, he made another turn back into wind toward it. The aircraft sank heavily onto the ground inside the aerodrome boundary, ran through a fence, and bounced back into the air. It then passed underneath a set of power lines, floated across the New England Highway and a second fence, and landed in the paddock, coming to rest some 365 metres from the initial touchdown marks. No fault was found with the aircraft engine or systems. The aircraft had carried sufficient but minimum fuel for the flight and it was considered that during manouevring a tank outlet may have become uncovered, resulting in fuel starvation to the engine.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 12 January 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1535    
Location: Maitland    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 24 November 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 185  
Aircraft registration VH-RKZ  
Serial number 185-1392  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Maitland NSW  
Departure time 1525  
Destination Maitland NSW