Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with ferris wheel involving Cheetah Sierra 200, 24-7634 near Old Bar, NSW on 1 October 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
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What happened

On 1 October 2011, the pilot of a Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft (Sierra), registered 24-7634, was attempting to land at the Old Bar Airstrip after conducting a private flight from Taree Airport, New South Wales.

The pilot commenced a go-around after touching down. During the climb out the aircraft collided with a ferris wheel that was part of a group of amusements located at a beach festival, adjacent and to the south of the airstrip.

There were two persons on board the Sierra and four occupants of the ferris wheel at the time of the collision. There were no reported injuries from the occupants of the ferris wheel, and the passenger in the Sierra reported receiving a minor injury.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that the management of risk in relation to flight training operations by Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated (RA-Aus) was adequate; however, it had been circumvented in a number of areas during the training of the pilot. That resulted in a pilot operating in the aviation environment who did not possess the required competencies to exercise the privileges of a private pilot certificate.

The ATSB also found that the approach to the management of risk by the Old Bar Beach Festival Committee, specifically relating to aviation operations at the beach festival, was ineffective and resulted in a level of risk that had the potential to impact on the objectives of the festival.

What's been done as a result

RA-Aus have taken steps to ensure that the flight training facility that undertook the pilot’s training and its staff are aware of the requirements imposed upon them by the RA-Aus Operations Manual, and that RA-Aus staff at the facility have the required skills and knowledge to carry out flight training operations. The pilot underwent a flight review that established the need for additional training.

The festival and airstrip committees reported that in future the airstrip will be closed and aviation operations suspended when the festival is taking place.

Safety message

The management of risk in aviation requires diligence and structure to be effective. In particular, when aviation activities are part of a public event the supporting procedures, processes and guidelines need to be carefully developed and applied to manage risk to those choosing to participate in the aviation environment and to others external to the aviation activity.

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Download Preliminary Report
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Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.02MB]

Preliminary report released 29 November 2011

On 1 October 2011, a Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft, registered 24-7634, departed Taree Airport for the Old Bar Airstrip, New South Wales. On board were the pilot and a passenger. After arriving overhead the Old Bar Airstrip, the pilot conducted a left circuit followed by a touch-and-go landing on runway 17. The pilot then flew an additional circuit, from which a full-stop landing was planned.

On the second landing, the pilot estimated that he would not be able to stop before the end of the airstrip. As a result, the landing was aborted and a go-around was commenced. During the initial climb phase of the go-around, the aircraft collided with a ferris wheel that was located to the south of the airstrip. The ferris wheel was part of a beach festival and, at the time of the collision, there were four people on the ferris wheel.

The aircraft and ferris wheel were damaged in the collision and the passenger and a person on the ground sustained minor injuries.

Download Preliminary Report
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Alternate: [Download  DOC: 2.02MB]

Safety Issues

Go to AO-2011-126-SI-01 - Go to AO-2011-126-SI-02 - Go to AO-2011-126-SI-03 -

Pilot training

The training provided to the pilot did not afford him the opportunity to develop the competencies required to exercise the privileges of the Recreational Aviation Australia Incorporated private pilot certificate.

Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2011-126-SI-01
Who it affects: Operator of the Taree flight training facility
Status: Adequately addressed

Risk management of aviation activities

The approach to the management of risk at the Old Bar Beach Festival, particularly specifically in relation to aviation activities, was ineffective and resulted in a high level of unmanaged risk that had the potential to impact on the objectives of the festival.

Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2011-126-SI-02
Who it affects: All organisers of events for the general public that include aviation related activities, including festivals, fairs, exhibitions and air shows
Status: Adequately addressed

Aircraft construction and certification

The manufacture of, and the processes used to certify and register the Morgan Aero Works Cheetah Sierra 200 aircraft, resulted in an increased risk to persons entering the recreational aviation community and using the aircraft for flight training, and also to the general public.

Safety issue details
Issue number: AO-2011-126-SI-03
Who it affects: All manufacturers of light sport aircraft
Status: Adequately addressed
General details
Date: 01 October 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1000 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Old Bar Airstrip, Old Bar    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 17 April 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Morgan Aero Works  
Aircraft model Cheetah  
Aircraft registration 24-7634  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Old Bar Airstrip, NSW  
Destination Old Bar Airstrip, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020