The ATSB is investigating a wirestrike and collision with terrain involving a Cessna 172, registered VH-RSB, near Merriton, South Australia on 8 October 2023.
It was reported that, during a private flight, the aircraft impacted terrain and was destroyed by fire. Initial evidence is consistent with the aircraft having struck a powerline while landing on private property. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and one person on the ground was injured during the rescue.
An ATSB investigation team was deployed to the accident site. As part of the investigation, ATSB investigators will examine the aircraft wreckage and other information from the accident site, interview any witnesses, examine maintenance records, and collect other relevant information.
Although the factors involved in this accident are yet to be established, the ATSB encourages pilots who land and take off from private property to read Avoidable Accidents No. 2 Wirestrikes involving known wires: A manageable aerial agricultural hazard. It includes valuable guidance to help manage the risk of wirestrike for all types of low-level operations.
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken.