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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226850
Last updated: 26 February 2020
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Time:12:46 AEST
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208
Owner/operator:Sydney Seaplanes
Registration: VH-ZWH
C/n / msn: 20800399
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Berowra Waters, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Taxi
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Rose Bay, NSW
Destination airport:Berowra Waters, NSW
Investigating agency: ATSB
The Cessna 208 Caravan floatplane, registered VH-ZWH (ZWH) operated by Sydney Seaplanes, departed from Rose Bay on a charter flight to Berowra Waters, New South Wales (NSW). On board were the pilot and eight passengers.
At about the same time that the aircraft took off from Rose Bay, two adults and two children departed from the Berowra Waters Marina in a hired small aluminium boat, which the marina reported as being about 4.8 metres in length. The boat hirer (boat operator) did not have a boat licence, nor was one required to operate the boat. The children were wearing lifejackets and the adults were not wearing lifejackets, nor were they required to. After about 15 minutes, the boat operator stopped the boat near the middle of Berowra Creek to have lunch, and turned off the motor.
About 5 minutes after the boat had stopped, ZWH approached the landing area on Berowra Creek (located in Berowra Waters). The pilot assessed that the wind conditions were suitable for landing and positioned the aircraft to land on Berowra Creek in a south-westerly direction. After landing, because of the long distance to taxi to the restaurant, the pilot kept the aircraft’s speed up, maintaining the aircraft ‘on the step’ (see Seaplane positions) for some time. At the same time, the pilot was also monitoring a large white boat that was heading south out of Calabash Bay, ensuring that it continued moving away from the aircraft and was not going to present a hazard.
As the aircraft approached the 4-knot zone of the creek, the pilot reduced the speed and the aircraft moved from the step to the taxiing position.
The boat operator saw the aircraft land and travel towards their stationary boat. As the aircraft approached, the boat operator became concerned that the aircraft was not going to stop. Because the boat appeared to be in the aircraft’s direct path, the boat operator started the motor and began turning the boat away from the aircraft. As the aircraft was slowing to taxi the pilot felt a bump while at a speed of about 6 to 7 knots. The pilot looked around the nose of the aircraft (which was obstructing part of the forward field of view) and saw that the front left float had contacted the boat, which the pilot had not seen until then. The silver hull of the boat had been motionless on the calm, glassy surface of the creek and its dark blue canopy and dark clothing worn by the adults in the boat had blended into the surrounding area.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 8 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of VH-ZWH courtesy

Sydney - Rose Bay Seaplane (RSE / YRAY)
1 January 2017; (c) Phil Vabre

Revision history:

06-Jul-2019 19:15 Captain Adam Added
26-Feb-2020 12:58 harro Updated [Total occupants, Nature, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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