Aviation occurrence briefs

Objects falling from aircraft involving Zenith Zodiac 601, 16 km E of Temora Airport, NSW, on 15 February 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 15 February 2018 at 1845 Eastern Daylight-saving Time (EDT), the pilot of a Zenith Zodiac 601 was conducting stall recovery training approximately 16 kilometres east of Temora Airport, New South Wales (NSW). At approximately 6,000 feet, during a stall recovery, a bag containing tie down equipment dislodged from its stored position. The bag subsequently broke through the canopy of the aircraft before grazing the rudder and falling to the ground.

The flight continued without further incident and the pilot landed the aircraft safely at Temora Airport. The aircraft operator informed that ATSB that the bag punched a hole, approximately 400 millimetres in diameter, in the canopy of the aircraft causing damage to the leading edge of the rudder.

Safety message

Prior to departure, it is important for pilots to ensure that all passengers, cargo and equipment are secure inside the aircraft. If the pilot is intending to undertake aerobatic flight or stall manoeuvres, they should always apply the HASELL[1] checklist. The HASELL checklist is a mnemonic designed to ensure that:

  • the aircraft has sufficient height for the manoeuvres
  • the airframe can be configured correctly
  • the cabin is secure with no loose articles that may move, even during violent or negative g manoeuvres
  • the engine can be properly configured
  • the location is acceptable, not over populated areas
  • the pilot should keep a lookout for other traffic during the manoeuvres.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.



  1. CASA Civil Aviation Advisory Publication Issue 155-1(0) Section 8.3
General details
Date: 15 February 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1845 EDT    
Location   (show map): 16 km E of Temora Airport    
State: New South Wales    
Release Date: 28 March 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Amateur Built Aircraft  
Aircraft model Zenith Zodiac 601  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Last update 04 June 2018