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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 329
Last updated: 19 November 2017
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Time:13:24 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic C185 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna A185E
Owner/operator:South Pacific Seaplanes
Registration: VH-HTS
C/n / msn: 185-01835
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Berowra Waters, Calabash Bay, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Palm Beach, NSW
Destination airport:Berowra Waters, NSW
Investigating agency: ATSB
On Sunday, 26 July 1998, at about 13:24 EST, a Cessna A185E floatplane, VH-HTS, crashed onto a ridge forming the southern shore of Calabash Bay NSW. The accident occurred during a go-around manoeuvre following an unsuccessful landing approach to the Berowra water alighting area.

At the time of the accident the Calabash Bay area was affected by strong winds, widespread rain and showers, low cloud, and reduced visibility. The aircraft was operated by South Pacific Seaplanes and was undertaking a charter flight from Palm Beach to Berowra. All five occupants, including the pilot, suffered fatal injuries. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces.

The investigation found that the circumstances of the accident were consistent with uncontrolled flight into terrain. The decision by the pilot to carry out a go-around into a confined area surrounded by steep-sided terrain was the culminating factor in a combination of local factors, organisational deficiencies and inadequate safety defences. Local factors included poor weather conditions, a lack of formal procedures to provide safe methods of operation, and commercial pressures. Organisational deficiencies were identified within South Pacific Seaplanes concerning the management and conduct of charter operations carried out by that company, and in the safety regulation of those operations by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.



Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation R19980277 issued 4 February 1999 by ATSB to CASA
Safety recommendation R19980284 issued 4 February 1999 by ATSB to CASA

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
04-May-2014 03:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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