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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 62628
Last updated: 10 June 2021
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Time:c. 0650
Type:Silhouette image of generic C188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna A188
Owner/operator:Rural Aviation (1963) Ltd
Registration: ZK-CON
MSN: 0024
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Okau, North Taranaki -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Farm airstrip
Destination airport:
The aircraft was on its third 7-minute sortie of the day.
The pilot was regarded as being "an experienced and exceptionally competent agricultural pilot" with 1,200 flying hours in the Fleet Air Arm in WW2. His total flying time was 11,736 hours of which 1,332 hours were in the Cessna 188, mainly in the accident aircraft ZK-CON.

Investigators, after hearing the evidence of an eyewitness in the area and discussion with a local ag. pilot concluded that the accident pilot had been "ridge riding" along a ridgeline that led to the sowing area. This use of any breeze blowing up a slope in order to gain height was an accepted practise.

When approaching a spur that ran off the main ridge the aircraft had made a tight turn to the right and entered an incipient spin, crashing in trees on a steep slope of the spur.
It appeared that at almost the last moment the pilot had initiated the dumping of the 15 hundredweight ( 1,680 pounds/ 762 kilograms ) of granulated superphosphate in the hopper.
The aircraft was wrecked by the impact and the pilot was killed. There was no fire.

An examination of the airframe and engine found no defects apart from a fracture in the throttle bell crank, Cessna part no.0750163-1.
This failure would have caused the engine to immediately go to idling power.

It would appear that as the aircraft flew along the face of the ridge with a spur looming up ahead, the engine suddenly lost nearly all power due to the failure of the throttle bell crank, causing the pilot to put the aircraft into a steep right turn in order to avoid the spur and make a forced landing in a valley in that direction. In the course of the turn control was lost and the Cessna crashed.

The accident report concludes : "2.2.2. Probable cause : The accident was probably caused by irretrievable loss of control incurred through stalling in a steep turn following loss of engine power suspected as being due to failure of the throttle bell crank."

Frederick Ernest Ewings.

Sources:\\r\\nAir Accident Report No. 1962.

Revision history:

22-May-2009 12:58 XLerate Added
22-Dec-2010 05:48 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Total occupants, Phase, Nature, Damage, Narrative]
22-May-2011 23:03 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type]
22-May-2011 23:59 angels one five Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
24-May-2011 22:40 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
16-May-2013 11:34 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Oct-2013 23:52 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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