Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving a Piper Aircraft Corp PA-32-300, VH-JQL, 86km ENE Roma, Aerodrome, QLD on 22 January 1998

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot reported that the engine faltered briefly when he applied full power while rolling out of a procedure turn during an aerial seeding operation. He then deliberately stalled the aircraft into the tops of trees when it was clear that it was losing performance. The aircraft rolled right and struck the ground in a nose down, inverted attitude. The pilot and station manager occupied the front seats, the seed dispatcher was tethered by a lanyard in the rear cabin from which the seats had been removed. All three occupants were taken to hospital, two with minor and one with serious injuries. The aircraft carried an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) which was fixed to structure in the rear fuselage. The ELT worked automatically, alerting AusSAR to the accident. Onsite photographs indicated that the engine was producing high power when the propeller struck tree trunks. The flight conditions were extreme; 43 degrees C, moderate turbulence and a density altitude of approximately 5,200 ft.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 15KB]
General details
Date: 22 January 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 16:15 EST    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 02 February 1998   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-32-300  
Aircraft registration VH-JQL  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Nullin Station Qld  
Destination Nullin Station Qld