Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine failure and forced landing involving Jabiru J430, VH-OFR, 17 km S of Bundaberg, Queensland, on 18 June 2017

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Final Report

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On 18 June 2017, a Jabiru J430 aircraft, registered VH-OFR (OFR), departed Bundaberg Airport, Queensland to operate a private flight to Williamtown Airport, New South Wales, with a pilot and passenger on board.

At 0816 Eastern Standard Time, as the aircraft climbed through about 4,500 ft above mean sea level, the pilot noticed engine RPM reducing. The pilot reduced power and attempted to determine a reason for the power loss. The pilot was unable to determine a reason for the power loss and elected to advance the throttle to use remaining power to maintain height. About a minute after advancing the throttle, the engine failed.

The pilot then identified a field as suitable for a forced landing, and conducted a left circuit into the field. During the landing roll, the left main landing gear partially collapsed.

The pilot and passenger were not injured, the aircraft sustained minor damage.

Sport aviation, such as Experimental category operations can be an economical way to participate in aviation.

This benefit comes with an increased risk to occupants of experimental and amateur built aircraft. The ATSB report: Amateur built aircraft, Analysis of accidents involving VH-registered non-factory-built aeroplanes 1988–2010 found that amateur built aircraft had an accident rate three times higher than comparable factory built aircraft conducting similar operations. Over half of the accidents were precipitated by mechanical events, which were mainly complete or partial engine failures. The report contained the following safety message:

Builders of amateur-built aircraft should select, install and maintain aircraft engines carefully as engine issues are the most likely reason why an accident will occur.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority website: Sport aviation safety explained, provides guidance to assist participants in sport aviation in becoming informed participants and further information for understanding the risks associated with these operations.

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General details
Date: 18 June 2017   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 8:16 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 17 km S of Bundaberg    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 07 September 2017   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model J430  
Aircraft registration VH-OFR  
Serial number 763  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Bundaberg, Qld  
Destination Williamtown, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018