Aviation occurrence briefs

Runway excursion, Raytheon Aircraft Company A36, 92 km east-north-east of Katanning, Western Australia, on 25 December 2020

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 25 December 2020, a Raytheon (Beechcraft) A36 aircraft was departing from a private airstrip on a property near Pingrup, Western Australia, for a private flight to Jandakot, Western Australia, with the pilot and four passengers on board.

During the take-off to the east, when about halfway down the runway, the pilot detected a sudden and severe wind change. The northerly wind became gusty and variable, which affected the aircraft’s airspeed, resulting in a stall warning. When the stall warning sounded, the aircraft was approximately 10 ft above the runway, but the pilot was having difficulty maintaining altitude.

The pilot elected to reject the take-off and land but was unable to stop the aircraft before the end of the runway. The aircraft overran the runway and struck a fence, resulting in substantial damage to the propeller, wings, landing gear and fuselage. There were no injuries to the pilot or passengers.

Safety action

As a result of this accident, the pilot has advised the ATSB that they are planning to install a second windsock at the eastern end of the airstrip, and construct an additional flight strip running in a north/south direction.

Safety message

This accident highlights the importance of early decision making for pilots, specifically when rejecting a take-off. Instead of attempting to keep the aircraft in the air operating below safe flying speed, the pilot made the safer decision to land back on the runway. Although the aircraft was damaged, the pilot and the passengers were uninjured.

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: 25 December 2020   Investigation status: Completed  
Location   (show map): 92 km east-north-east of Katanning    
State: Western Australia    
Release Date: 11 February 2021   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Raytheon Aircraft Company  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Pingrup Western Australia  
Destination Jandakot Western Australia  
Last update 25 February 2021