Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving C172 VH-DLA, near Sutton, NSW, 13 April 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a collision with terrain involving Cessna R172K, VH-DLA, near Sutton, NSW, on 13 April 2021.

The aircraft was conducting a powerline inspection when witnesses reported seeing the aircraft depart controlled flight before colliding with the ground. Both occupants were fatally injured.

Transport safety investigators with experience in aircraft operations and aircraft maintenance will examine the wreckage and map the accident site using a drone and other site survey equipment.

The ATSB will also analyse available recorded data and interview witnesses and other involved parties.

A preliminary report is expected to be released in a number of weeks, while a final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

However, should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 13 April 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 16:25 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Canberra Airport (Sutton)   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Australian Capital Territory   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model R172K  
Aircraft registration VH-DLA  
Serial number R1722809  
Type of operation General Aviation  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Unknown  
Destination Unknown  
Last update 14 April 2021