Sunday, February 04, 2018

Cessna T310R, VH-JMW, Burley Aircraft Proprietary Limited: Fatal accident occurred October 28, 2017 in Kew, New South Wales, Australia

NTSB Identification: WPR18WA019
Accident occurred Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Kew, New South Wales, Australia
Aircraft: CESSNA T310, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On October 28, 2017, at 1600 local time, a Cessna T310R, VH-JMW, was destroyed when it collided with terrain near Kew, New South Wales, Australia. The airplane was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of the government of Australia. The pilot and passenger were 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

Collision with terrain involving Cessna 310R, VH-JMW, 40 km SSW of Port Macquarie, NSW, on October 28, 2017

Investigation number: AO-2017-105

On 28 October 2017, a Cessna Aircraft Company T310R, registered VH-JMW, was being operated on a private flight from Toowoomba, Queensland to The Lakes aerodrome, New South Wales. The aircraft had been flown from The Lakes to Toowoomba earlier that day. The aircraft departed Toowoomba at 1434 Eastern Daylight-saving Time (EDT)[1]. The pilot was the owner of the aircraft and there was a passenger in the other front seat.

During the flight, transponders in the aircraft provided flight information indicating that the aircraft flew at 9,500 ft in the cruise. Weather forecasts and observations indicated good weather conditions throughout the flight, with a light easterly wind in the vicinity of the destination.

About half a nautical mile north of The Lakes aerodrome, witnesses driving south on the Pacific Highway observed the aircraft flying just to the west of the highway at low altitude in a southerly direction. The landing gear was extended and the aircraft was descending slowly. The aircraft was then observed to roll left and descend rapidly.

The aircraft collided with terrain at approximately 1555, in a narrow wooded strip of land east of the Pacific Highway, between the highway and the main northern railway line. The accident was 800 m from The Lakes runway 16 threshold, in line with the runway direction (Figure 1). The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

Aircraft information

VH-JMW was a Cessna T310R, six seat, twin-engine aircraft, powered by two Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520-NB turbocharged engines (Figure 2). It had six fuel tanks, comprising the main fuel tanks in the wingtip pods, and two auxiliary fuel tanks in each wing.

Wreckage examination

On-site examination of the wreckage, surrounding markings on trees and the ground indicated that the aircraft impacted terrain in a steep nose-down attitude and banked to the left. The aircraft was in a landing configuration.

The left wing had separated outboard of the left engine, and both the wing-tip pods had separated from the wings. The remaining fuel tanks were also breached and no fuel was found, however a smell of aviation fuel was noted by emergency responders at the accident site. There was no evidence of fire.

Examination of the engines and propellers indicated that the left engine was producing no power and the right engine was likely producing low power at the time of the accident.

A number of aircraft components, instruments and electronic devices were recovered from the accident site by the ATSB for further examination.

The aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, nor was it required to be.

Ongoing investigation

The investigation is continuing and will include consideration of the:
  • Pilot’s qualifications, experience and medical information
  • Fuel planning for the flight
  • Component examination
  • Witness information
  • Weather information
  • Recovered instruments and available electronic data.
The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the accident as outlined in this web update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.

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