ASN Aircraft accident Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-20 Islander VH-OBL Hobart, TAS
ASN logo

Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 8 December 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-20 Islander
Registration: VH-OBL
MSN: 2035
First flight: 1986-10-29 (32 years 2 months)
Total airframe hrs:12428
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:101 km (63.1 mls) WSW of Hobart, TAS (   Australia)
Crash site elevation: 855 m (2805 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Hobart Cambridge Airport, TAS (YCBG), Australia
Destination airport:Bathurst Harbour Airport, TAS (YBHB), Australia
A Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander, operated by Par-Avion, impacted mountainous terrain in the Southwest National Park in Tasmania, Australia. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, died in the crash.
The aircraft departed Hobart Cambridge Airport in Tasmania at 07:48 hours local time on a repositioning flight to Bathurst Harbour Airport to pick up passengers. ADS-B position and altitude data showed the aircraft tracked to the south-west towards Bathurst Harbour. At about 08:16, the aircraft approached a gap in the Arthur Range known as 'the portals'. The portals are a saddle (lowest area) between the Eastern and Western Arthur Range, and was an optional route that the airline used between Cambridge and Bathurst Harbour when the cloud base prevented flight over the mountain range. After passing through the portals, the aircraft proceeded to conduct a number of turns below the height of the surrounding highest terrain. The final data point recorded was at about 08:28.

Probable Cause:

Contributing factors:
- The pilot continued descending over the Arthur Range saddle to a lower altitude than previous flights, likely due to marginal weather. This limited the options for exiting the valley surrounded by high terrain.
- While using a route through the Arthur Range due to low cloud conditions, the pilot likely encountered reduced visual cues in close proximity to the ground, as per the forecast conditions. This led to controlled flight into terrain while attempting to exit the range.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: ATSB (Australia)
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years
Accident number: AO-2018-078
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain


Follow-up / safety actions

ATSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

Show all...


photo of Pilatus-BN-2A-20-Islander-VH-OBL
accident date: 08-12-2018
type: Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-20 Islander
registration: VH-OBL
photo of Pilatus-BN-2A-20-Islander-VH-OBL
final portion of the flight
photo of Pilatus-BN-2A-20-Islander-VH-OBL
accident date: 08-12-2018
type: Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-20 Islander
registration: VH-OBL

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Hobart Cambridge Airport, TAS to Bathurst Harbour Airport, TAS as the crow flies is 125 km (78 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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.
languages: languages


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314