Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine failure and fire on ground involving Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8, VH-AJZ, Gibb River ALA, WA, on 22 April 2017

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 22 April 2017, a Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8, registered VH-AJZ, was being used to conduct incendiary bombing aerial work operations in the Prince Regent River area of northern Western Australia. On board were a pilot, a navigator seated in the co-pilot seat and a bombardier in the rear of the aircraft cabin.

At about 1255 Western Standard Time, the aircraft landed on runway 07 at Gibb River. During the landing roll, the engine failed. While attempting a restart of the engine, the aircraft caught on fire. The pilot immediately shut down the engine and switched off the aircraft electrical system.

The crew members exited the aircraft and unsuccessfully attempted to fight the fire. The crew members were not injured. As a result of the fire, the aircraft was destroyed.

This investigation highlights the importance of knowing and understanding flight manual normal and emergency procedures. In this accident, steps in the engine fire during start procedures were omitted. When facing a situation as serious as a fire, the published emergency procedures provide the foundation for emergency response management.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 62

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General details
Date: 22 April 2017   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 12:55 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Gibb River (ALA)    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Fire  
Release date: 05 September 2017   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model GA-8  
Aircraft registration VH-AJZ  
Serial number GA8-05-096  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Derby, WA  
Destination Gibb River, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018