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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 61206
Last updated: 4 September 2020
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Time:c. 1645
Type:Silhouette image of generic J1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Auster J-1B Aiglet, converted from J1 Autocrat
Owner/operator:Mesopotamia Station
Registration: ZK-AUL
C/n / msn: 2310/304FM
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2.7 n.m NE of Mesopotamia Station, Canterbury Province -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Mesopotamia Station airstrip
Destination airport:
Pilot Peter Prouting, 23.

The Auster Aiglet was engaged in a private aerial topdressing operation.
The pilot had carried out a number of sowing runs before the accident flight and told his brother that he would have to refuel " after this load. "

He took off with a hopper load of 504 pounds of coarse superphospate and mixed seeds.
When en-route to the sowing area the engine noise was heard to cease suddenly by two witnesses on the ground who said that the pilot then began to dump the hopper load. They saw the aircraft dive to the ground. The whole sequence was reported to have taken just 3 seconds.

The Auster struck the ground at a 50 degree angle and a low airspeed and was destroyed by impact forces. There was no fire. The pilot was killed instantly in the crash.

In the Auster J series aircraft the center of gravity (CG) moves aft as the fuel is consumed. It was calculated that with zero usable fuel and a hopper load of 504 pounds the CG would have been 1.1 inches aft of the rear limit.

As an examination of the engine showed no apparent pre-accident defects it was assumed by the investigators that the sudden engine stoppage was due to fuel exhaustion.

The investigators stated that power failure alone should not have led to the accident. They believed that the aft CG combined with diminished elevator authority caused by the absence of propeller slipstream over the tail surfaces caused a loss of control, and the aircraft stalled and spun at a height from which recovery was not possible.

Aircraft Accident Report No. 80-026.

Revision history:

22-May-2009 12:58 XLerate Added
03-Jun-2009 14:18 angels one five Updated
11-Nov-2009 21:06 angels one five Updated
26-May-2011 19:21 angels one five Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-May-2011 21:04 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
02-Jan-2012 01:02 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2016 08:05 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
07-Jun-2018 10:51 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
14-May-2019 05:57 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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