ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 165191
Last updated: 6 March 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:11:00 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six
Owner/operator:Butterworth Earthmovers Pty Ltd (regd owners)
Registration: VH-ASX
C/n / msn: 32-40058
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:20 miles E of Hermansburg Mission, Northern Territories -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Curtin Springs, NT
Destination airport:Alice Springs Airport, NT (ASP/YBAS)
Investigating agency: BASI
The day prior to the accident the pilot, who was inexperienced in remote area navigation, flew the aircraft from Parafield to Ayers Rock, where he and the passengers remained overnight. In the morning the aircraft was flown to Curtln Springs and refuelled. The pilot was unable to obtain the area weather forecast because of poor radio communication conditions.

In clear weather he flew at 3,000 feet and he established his position over the Hermansburg Mission aerodrome, some 30 miles to port of the planned track. Still being unable to obtain satisfactory two-way radio communication with Alice Springs, he diverted to the south-east to avoid controlled airspace, with the Intention of requesting a clearance when he Intercepted the Adelaide to Alice Springs road.

Shortly afterwards he became disorientated and doubted his earlier navigational fix. Despite substantial fuel reserves, and without judicious consideration of other alternatives, he made a hurried decision to land on a road 20 miles east of the Hermansberg Mission, in the Ljirapinta Ward of MacDonnell Shire, Northern Territories, and ascertain his position.

During the latter part of the approach the unsuitability of the selected area became apparent, but the pilot persisted with the landing. After touching down the aircraft struck trees on the side of the road and finally came to rest off the right hand side of the road facing in the opposite direction to the landing run. The aircraft was damaged beyond economical repair, and later written off as "destroyed".

ATSB Conclusion: The cause of the accident was that the pilot landed the aircraft on an unsuitable area which did not meet the requirements for use as an aerodrome.



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


Photo of VH-ASX courtesy

Adelaide - Parafield (YPPF)
April 1967; (c) Geoff Goodall (via David Carter)

Photo: BASI

Revision history:

02-Apr-2014 16:41 Dr. John Smith Added
02-Apr-2014 16:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport]
07-Nov-2018 07:59 harro Updated [Photo, Accident report, ]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description