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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 395
Last updated: 30 March 2019
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Time:10:50 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic C206 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna U206G
Owner/operator:Aerodata/World Geoscience Corp
Registration: VH-KFF
C/n / msn: U20604106
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:83 km S of Whyalla, NSW -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Whyalla, SA (WYA/YWHA)
Destination airport:Whyalla, SA (WYA/YWHA)
Investigating agency: BASI
The aircraft departed at about 0815 CST and proceeded to a designated test range area near Iron Knob to carry out equipment calibration. The crew comprised the pilot and a data technician. After about 45 minutes the aircraft returned to Whyalla and commenced a further low level calibration flight over Spencer Gulf.

The first run was in a southerly direction for 83 km to abeam Wallaroo then north to Whyalla where it turned south and repeated the run back to Wallaroo. These runs were carried out at heights between 150 and 500 ft for specified periods of time. Abeam Wallaroo the aircraft, which was maintaining 500 ft, was again turned north. It had been on this run for about 3 minutes at 110 kts when the engine suddenly lost power.

The data technician stated that following the loss of engine power the pilot changed fuel tanks from left to right then switched the boost pump on but the engine failed to respond. The pilot transmitted a mayday call on the very high frequency (VHF) radio stating the aircraft's approximate position south of Whyalla. The pilot and the data technician were not wearing shoulder harnesses and during the descent the pilot advised the data technician to remove his seat belt.

However, the data technician kept his seat belt fastened and braced himself for the impact. He was not sure if the pilot had removed his seat belt. The estimated time from the mayday call to the ditching at 1050 CST was about 20 seconds.

The pilot sustained facial injuries. He and the data technician were wearing life jackets and they evacuated the aircraft through the right window and climbed onto the wing. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to retrieve the life raft that was stowed behind the pilot's seat, but within minutes of the ditching the aircraft sank. Both crew members then commenced swimming towards the shore. On several occasions they saw helicopters flying within 600 metres of them but despite waving to attract attention they remained unseen.

After many hours the data technician lost contact with the pilot, who had been having difficulties swimming and keeping his head above water. Just after dusk the data technician was found by a fisherman and a short time later the body of the drowned pilot was found by a search vessel.

The aircraft was snagged by a fishing trawler's net but subsequent searching with the aim of retrieving the wreckage failed to find it and further search attempts were abandoned.



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

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
13-Nov-2008 04:14 harro Updated
13-Nov-2008 04:16 harro Updated
13-Nov-2008 04:16 harro Updated
13-Nov-2008 04:59 harro Updated
14-May-2014 04:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-May-2014 04:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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