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.
On 21 December 2018, the pilot, and sole occupant of the Ayres Corporation S2R departed Dalby, Queensland to conduct aerial agriculture spraying.
During initial climb, at about 200 ft above ground level, the aircraft did not respond to control inputs to climb further. The pilot turned right to avoid hitting obstructions but found the aircraft was not performing in the way he expected. The pilot attempted to climb by increasing the throttle to maximum and lowering the nose of the aircraft to increase airspeed, but the aircraft was unable to maintain height.
As the aircraft’s airspeed decreased, the pilot experienced wallowing. The pilot attempted to drop the chemical load to lighten the aircraft’s weight, but the aircraft did not respond. The pilot then lowered the nose of the aircraft to conduct a forced landing. The aircraft entered a stall and subsequently impacted a row of trees resulting in substantial damage and minor injuries to the pilot.
Figure 1: Ayres Corporation S2R post accident
Source: Chief Pilot
This accident highlights the importance of monitoring and checking instruments during flight, to ensure aircraft speed and performance is maintained. As aircraft speed reduces and approaches Vmca, low speed controllability of the aircraft becomes very difficult. Pilots and operators are also reminded of the need to ensure that the aircraft’s weight is within limits and maximum take-off weight to ensure the on-going safety of the aircraft and operations.
The pilot involved in this accident was required to make important decisions in a short period of time, including where to land and how to manage the remaining altitude. Pre-flight self-briefing is an important tool in reinforcing planned emergency actions.
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.
|Date:||21 December 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||5 km north of Dalby|
|Release Date:||19 February 2019||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Minor|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Ayres Corporation|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|
|Departure point||Dalby, Queensland|