Aviation occurrence briefs

Loose article leading to wirestrike involving Evektor Aerotechnik Sportstar Plus, 19 km S of Naracoorte Airport, SA, on 7 March 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 7 March 2018, at about 0810 Central Daylight-savings Time (CDT), an Evektor Sportstar Plus departed Naracoorte on a private flight to Mount Gambier, South Australia (SA). During the cruise at approximately 600 feet above ground level, 21 kilometres south of Naracoorte, the pilot noticed cattle in a paddock on his flight path and banked right to avoid overflying the cattle. During the manoeuver, the pilot’s flight bag fell from the passenger seat and became lodged between the seat and the control column, causing an abrupt pitch down.

The pilot tried to extricate the bag as the aircraft rapidly descended, but the aircraft struck a powerline and collided with terrain. As he exited the aircraft, the pilot stepped on the downed but still live powerline, causing burns to his foot.

The aircraft was extensively damaged and the pilot suffered injuries to the knee, shin and foot.

Figure 1: Evektor Sportstar Plus damage

Figure 1: Evektor Sportstar Plus damage

Source: South Australia Police

Safety message

Even a planned routine flight in good flying conditions can encounter unexpected hazards at any time. The cockpit should always be arranged to minimise the hazard of loose articles, regardless of the type of flight expected.

Unrestrained items in the cockpit increase the risk of both flight control interference during normal flight and injury to occupants during an accident. Pilots should take care to ensure that all items and cargo are adequately restrained to prevent movement during flight and improve survivability in the event of an accident.

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.

General details
Date: 07 March 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0815 CDT    
Location   (show map): 21 km S of Naracoorte    
State: South Australia    
Release Date: 12 April 2018   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Evektor Aerotechnik  
Aircraft model Sportstar Plus  
Type of operation General Aviation  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Last update 14 November 2018