Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 177-RG, VH-XBL, 7km north-west of Longreach QLD, 16 June 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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As part of their commercial pilot training scheme, the flying school sent five trainees supervised by two instructors, in two aircraft to further their experience by operating from a remote aerodrome. The two aircraft arrived at Longreach Aerodrome before noon on the day of the accident. The instructor in charge of the operation had apparently decided to take two trainees flying in the local area. The flight was authorised for radio navigation aid training. The aircraft was later seen over a period of time, flying at heights judged as 100 feet and lower over the flooded Thomson River. Later, some two kilometres north-west of the Thomson River, two stockmen saw the aircraft flying parallel to the Winton road towards Longreach township when suddenly the wings separated from the fuselage which then crashed to the ground. The aircraft had flown into a subsidiary powerline strung across the main road. Two steel wires had struck the windscreen and had sliced both wings and centre support section away from the fuselage. The span of the wire struck was 239 metres. The point of impact was 8.2 metres above ground level and 67 metres from the main feeder powerline which parallels the far side of the main road. At the time of the accident, the wind was calm, the sky was clear of cloud, and the sun was directly behind the aircraft. Although the visibility was excellent, tests conducted exactly 24 hours after the accident revealed that the wires would not have been visible to the pilots in time to avoid a collision.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 16 June 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1510    
Location: 7km north-west of Longreach    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 15 November 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 177  
Aircraft registration VH-XBL  
Serial number 177RG 0577  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Longreach QLD  
Departure time 1432  
Destination Longreach QLD