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ATSB Final for VH-UFN Crash into Woolcunda Lake & Link to Low Flying Risks Publication


Guest davidh10

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Guest davidh10

The ATSB has today released the final report on the above accident. Some key points:-

 

  • No ELT was triggered, resulting in a two day search to locate the aircraft (A portable unit was carried and was found some distance from the aircraft).
     
     
  • The aircraft impacted the lake in a left bank. It was not determined whether there was a loss of control or an unintentional water contact with one wing tip.
     
     
  • The pilot did not hold a low flying endorsement.
     
     
  • There had been a recent rain event causing run-off into the lake, which was unusual. The pilot had an interest in aerial photography and often visited the lake for that purpose.
     
     
  • The report indicated that there was a high probability, although no proof, that the pilot had often undertaken unauthorised low flying in this area to heights as low as 100' AGL.
     
     
  • The weather on the accident day was such as to expect the lake surface to be "mirror like" and featureless. A known cause of height disorientation for pilots.
     
     

 

 

The ATSB have taken the opportunity to provide a link to their "Low Level Flying" article in their "Avoidable Accident" series.

 

I thought I would highlight the above, as useful information for others as well. It is certainly interesting to me, as I live by a large lake and engage in amateur aerial photography (using an aircraft mounted camera). You can get lovely reflections of clouds in a lake on the right days, which require a glassy surface and lower angle shots are better than high angle ones. I'd hasten to assure readers that I do not currently engage in low flying, unless under instruction, although I intend to get the Low Level endorsement at some time in the not too distant future (prompted by unrelated purposes).

 

You can never learn too much. Anything that contributes to better risk assessment in the aerial environment has to be a good thing. In that respect, I really like Spin's signature slogan "Never take an aircraft anywhere your mind didn't get to 5 minutes before."

 

 

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