Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cirrus SR22 G2 GTS, Creative System Professionals Pty Ltd, VH-CKS: Fatal accident occurred July 27, 2013 in Boxwood, north of Benalla, Victoria – Australia

In the dark of night a family member sat in a car at the end of a private runway, flashing the headlights to guide in a pilot for bush landing.

But instead of a smooth touchdown the relative watched in horror as the light aircraft clipped nearby trees before plunging to earth, killing the 51-year-old pilot.

The unlit airstrip at rural Boxwood, north of Melbourne, should not have been used at night, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau reported today as part of its analysis of the crash.

Keen to get home after being delayed in Melbourne on business, the pilot flew past numerous nearby airstrips which were suitable for night-time landing.

Instead he phoned ahead and had a family member position a vehicle at the end of the runway, with its lights on high beam, facing the Cirrus SR22 as it came in to land.

“This lighting was inadequate and provided insufficient guidance for the approach and landing,” the ATSB reported.

Via mobile phone the relative told the pilot he was off course, but it was too late.

The plane’s wing struck trees to one side of the airstrip, flipping the aircraft and sending it nose-first into the ground at high speed.

At the time of the crash — about 6pm on June 27, 2013 — the ATSB found that conditions were overcast with no wind.

The pilot had renewed his license two months earlier and reported that a majority of his recent flying time had been at night.

On previous occasions he landed at nearby Benalla when returning to the Boxwood after dark.

The ATSB have not released the pilot’s name or details of the relative who witnessed the crash.

Report and photos:

Collision with terrain involving Cirrus SR22, VH-CKS, Boxwood, Victoria on 27 June 2013

Investigation number: AO-2013-104
Investigation status: Completed

What happened

On 27 June 2013, a Cirrus SR22 aircraft, registered VH-CKS, collided with a tree that was adjacent to the private airstrip at Boxwood, Victoria. The pilot of the aircraft was attempting to land on the unlit airstrip after last light. As a result of the collision, the pilot lost control and the aircraft continued for a short distance before impacting terrain inverted. The pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft destroyed

What the ATSB found

The pilot was appropriately licensed to operate the visual flight rules category aircraft at night and had passed a number of airports in the vicinity, all of which were appropriate for a night landing. However, consistent with a degree of self-imposed pressure to get home after a series of business commitments and prior to a1-month period away from home, the pilot bypassed these airports and continued to their property airstrip. This airstrip did not meet the physical, lighting and obstacle clearance requirements for night operations.

The final approach to land was made after last light, with a family member positioned in a motor vehicle ‘at the end of the strip’. The vehicle’s headlights were intended to illuminate the upwind end of the strip, facing the oncoming aircraft. However, this lighting was inadequate and provided insufficient guidance for the approach and landing. This increased the risk of a collision with terrain.

Safety message

Night landings at inadequately lit airstrips are inherently dangerous and increase the risk of a collision with terrain. The requirements for the conduct of operations at night, including lighting, pilot qualifications, aircraft equipment and systems and aerodrome equipment are intended to reduce this risk.

It is likely that, had these risk controls been given effect, this accident would not have happened.

NTSB Identification: WPR13WA305
 14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Shepparton, Australia, Australia
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On June 27, 2013, at 1930 universal coordinated time, a Cirrus Design SR22, VH-CKS, collided with terrain while on approach for landing at Shepparton Aerodrome, Australia. The airplane was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of Australia. The airplane was substantially damaged and the pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Australia. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of Australia. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)
P.O. Box 967, Civic Square
Canberra A.C.T. 2608
Tel: +612 6274 6054
Fax: +612 6274 6434

Investigation number: AO-2013-104 
Investigation status:

Investigation in progress

During the landing approach the aircraft collided with terrain. The pilot who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was seriously damaged.

Update 28 June 2013:  The aircraft collided with terrain during a landing approach at Boxwood, in north-eastern Victoria. The pilot who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged.

The ATSB has deployed four investigators, with specializations in engineering and aircraft operations. They are expected to arrive at the accident site during the afternoon of Friday 28 June 2013. Over the next few days they will examine the wreckage and accident site, interview witnesses, collect maintenance and pilot records and examine any relevant recorded air traffic control radio and radar data.

The investigators are seeking witness reports that might assist the investigation.

Witnesses can call the ATSB on 1800 020 616.

The investigation is continuing.

(ABC News)

Police believe light may have been a factor in an early evening plane crash that killed a man in north-eastern Victoria last night.

 The 51-year-old pilot was killed when his Cirrus SR22 plane clipped trees and crashed near a private air strip at Boxwood, north-east of Shepparton, around 6:30pm (AEST).

Three paramedic crews and the air ambulance responded, but the Boxwood man died at the scene.

Police believe he was flying back from Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne.

Acting Sergeant Jarrod Toomer says conditions were good, but visibility may have been a problem.

"Weather conditions were pretty good and there's not a lot of wind," he said.

"(If) he did come into the approach just after dark, that might have played some part in the accident."

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) spokesman Stuart Godley says investigators will head to the scene today.

"A team of four investigators will be gathering at our Canberra office and they'll be heading off to the accident scene examining the aircraft and talking to any witnesses that may have heard the aircraft," he said.

Cirrus SR22 G2 GTS, VH-CKS:

A pilot has died when his plane crashed on landing in Victoria's north-east.

The plane was attempting to land at a private airstrip at a residence in Boxwood when it clipped the trees and crashed just after 6pm.

A pilot in his 50s was a single occupant in the plane and was returning from Moorabbin airport.

Inspector Ian Geddes said the pilot flew into the private airstrip located on the property and experienced problems when landing.

"A male pilot returning from Moorabbin airport was deceased at the scene," Inspector Geedes said.

"He crashed on landing the plane. The airstrip was located on his property and apparently he flies all the time."

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said the accident happened at around 6.12pm.

"The aircraft has come in to land and has clipped some trees, a male in his 50s was deceased at the scene when paramedics arrived," Mr Mullen said.

"There was only one person in the plane, who was landing on his property, when it crashed."

The plane crashed on Benalla-Boundary Rd and Boxwood Rd in Boxwood.

CFA crews attended in a support role to clean up any fuel that may have been spilt.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have been notified and police are investigating the incident and will prepare a report for the coroner.