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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 213937
Last updated: 22 September 2019
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Date:21-MAR-1976
Time:16:55
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-32-260
Owner/operator:
Registration: VH-POR
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:69km SW of Grafton, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Private
Departure airport:YGFN
Destination airport:YSTW
Investigating agency: BASI
Narrative:
The aircraft was equipped with a radio compass and an automatic pilot which could be used to turn on to and hold any selected heading but the aircraft was authorised only for VFR operations. The pilot did not hold any class of instrument rating and was therefore restricted to flight in accordance with the Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Earlier in the day the pilot had flown the aircraft from Tamworth to Grafton, with four passengers, and for most of the flight the aircraft ha d been above cloud. Approaching Grafton, the aircraft had for a short time flown through cloud and some associated turbulence and it landed at Grafton at approximately 1030 hours. The pilot subsequently telephoned Coffs Harbour Flight Service Unit (FSU) and advised details of his flight plan for a return VFR flight to Tamworth. The plan details indicated an estimated departure time from Grafton of 1600 hours, a cruising altitude of 6000 feet to Armidale and 4000 feet from Armidale to Tamworth, a flight time of 84 minutes and a fuel endurance of 220 minutes. After taking off, the pilot established radio communication with Coffs Harbour FSU and reported his departure time as 1625 hours. There were no further communications received from the aircraft and at 1815 hours, the time previously nominated by the pilot for the commencement of search and rescue action, the Uncertainty Phase was declared. When no information as to the whereabouts of the aircraft had been received by 1900 hours, the Distress Phase was declared and search action was commenced. At 0845 hours on the following day, the wreckage of the aircraft was located on the north-east slope of a ridge in a remote, densely timbered mountainous area. The accident site was virtually on the planned track of the aircraft and there is evidence to indicate that, at the time of initial impact with trees, the aircraft had been on a south-south-westerly heading in gently descending controlled flight with the wings level and at near normal cruising speed. A weak to moderately active low pressure trough passed over the north-eastern corner of New South Wales before the flight commenced and, although the weather conditions could not be positively determined, it is likely that cloud covered some of the high terrain in the area at the time of the accident.

Sources:

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1976/aair/aair197601489/
https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/1562691/197601489.pdf

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Aug-2018 03:33 Pineapple Added

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