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Last updated: 25 November 2020
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 5 September 1995
Time:20:48
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 320
Operator:Aeropelican Air Services
Registration: VH-KZQ
C/n / msn: 759
First flight: 1981-05-10 (14 years 4 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:8km SE of Sydney, NSW (   Australia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY), Australia
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
The Twin Otter took off from runway 16L at Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, Australia, on climb to 3,000 ft. Both pilots reported that shortly after entering cloud at 2,000 ft there was a bright flash from the nose of the aircraft, temporarily blinding them. All electrical services had failed, but there was an electrical burning smell and smoke in the cockpit, which cleared when the electrical fire drills were completed. The on-board Emergency Locator Transmitter had also self activated.
Suspecting a lightning strike, and having lost radio communications, the aircraft was flown back for a landing on runway 25, with the crew broadcasting their intentions blind. The aircraft subsequently landed safely.
The departures controller noticed that the radar return from the Twin Otter had lost its altitude display soon after departure and tried unsuccessfully to contact the pilot. He thought the aircraft had suffered a communications failure and, from its track, assumed it was returning to land on runway 25, and immediately cleared the adjacent airspace.
The tower controller also noticed the aircraft was landing on runway 25 without communications, and issued a landing clearance by flashing a green light signal.
A subsequent inspection revealed the aircraft had sustained a lightning strike on the nose. The nose cone bonding strip had been destroyed and the resulting heat damage had ruptured the nose cone structure. The current had taken multiple exit paths throughout the aircraft, rendering most electrical services inoperative, before exiting at various points on the tail surfaces.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 1 months
Accident number: 199502944
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Lightningstrike
Forced landing on runway

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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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