On 20 June 2007, at approximately 0615 Western Standard Time, a
Cessna Aircraft Company C208 Caravan float plane, registered
VH‑NRT, departed Broome Airport, WA on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR)
charter flight to Talbot Bay. On board the aircraft were the pilot
and 10 passengers.
About 35 to 40 minutes into the flight, the weather conditions
deteriorated and the pilot elected to discontinue the flight and
return to Broome. During the return flight, the aircraft entered an
area of reduced in-flight visibility that resulted in the loss of
the visual horizon.
Whilst manoeuvring the aircraft to regain visual meteorological
conditions (VMC), the pilot became disoriented. The pilot made a
general radio broadcast requesting assistance, which was
intercepted by the crew of another aircraft who then provided
advice and reassurance to the pilot. The pilot was able to regain
control of the aircraft and, shortly after, resume the remainder of
The approach to Broome required the non-instrument-rated pilot
to descend through cloud before becoming visual and landing.
This incident highlighted the risks of inadvertent flight into
Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and of the recovery from
those conditions, particularly in respect of a pilot that does not
hold an instrument rating.
Aviation Safety Recommendations
] [ R2007014SR030