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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 210478
Last updated: 6 December 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C177 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 177
Registration: VH-DZC
C/n / msn: 17700019
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:French Island, VIC -   Australia
Phase: Take off
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:French Island, VIC
Destination airport:YMMB
Investigating agency: BASI
The pilot was conducting a charter flight from Moorabbin to French Island and return. He was carrying 3 passengers with light luggage. On arrival at French Island, he landed to the east on the grass strip. While taxiing after landing the nose wheel became bogged in sandy soil near the eastern end of the airstrip. The pilot shut down the engine and the passengers helped him push the aircraft to a parking position facing west at the eastern end of the strip. This location enabled the pilot to use the full length of the grass strip for a takeoff to the west later in the day. Later, when the group returned to depart the outside air temperature was approximately 14 degrees Celsius, the wind was calm and the QNH was approximately 1021 mb.

The airstrip surface was slashed grass and much of the soil underlying the grass surface was sandy loam. In the takeoff direction the strip was slightly up hill until about midway, and then slightly down hill. The airfield was approximately 131 ft above sea level and the surrounding terrain was gently undulating. The pilot applied full power and held the aircraft on the brakes before commencing the takeoff roll. The passengers reported that the aircraft accelerated normally for about 100 metres, after which the rate of acceleration slowed. As the aircraft neared the western end of the strip and the pilot rotated the aircraft to become airborne the passengers advised that they heard a noise which they believed was caused by the tail of the aircraft striking the ground. The pilot did not recall a noise as the aircraft rotated but said that he noticed a slight change in engine note soon after lift off.

The aircraft climbed to about 20 ft, banked slightly left and then settled back onto the ground approximately 70 m from the point of lift-off. It skidded down a gentle slope through light foliage and logs, slewed to the left and came to rest about 135 metres beyond the end of the strip. As the aircraft stopped, the pilot and passengers saw flames in the cabin. The pilot's door had jammed shut because of fuselage damage, therefore all occupants evacuated quickly through the right door. Within seconds the aircraft was engulfed in flames. None of the passengers reported hearing the stall warning horn at any stage. They reported that the engine sounded as though it was producing takeoff power even after they heard the tail hit the ground. Although the aircraft was substantially damaged by fire no pre-existing fault was found with the aircraft.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

06-May-2018 06:35 Pineapple Added

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