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Three killed in NT highway plane crash


Guest Fred Bear
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Guest Fred Bear

Three German nationals have been killed in a light plane crash on to the Stuart Highway, north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

 

Police believe the pilot was trying to making an emergency landing on the highway when it crashed.

 

The charter plane was one of three planes in a group en route from Western Australia when it crashed about 20km north of Elliott just before 11am (CST).

 

The planes were travelling from Katherine to Kings Creek Station when the crash happened completely blocking the Stuart Highway.

 

Local police are directing traffic around the wreckage on the highway, the main road link between Alice Springs and Darwin.

 

While it originally appeared the plane had two occupants it was later confirmed three men were killed, all German nationals.

 

The other two planes in the group have landed at Tennant Creek and members of the group are being spoken to by police.

 

Emergency services, including police, fire and NT emergency services personnel are travelling to the scene, while the highway remains closed.

 

Police said the two lane highway around the crash had been reduced to one. Motorists have been advised to expect some delays for several hours until the wreckage is removed and preliminary investigations completed.

 

Motorists travelling from Queensland to the Northern Territory on the Stuart Highway should consider delaying their trip for about 24 hours, police said.

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear
Hi Darenin reading your report, it mentioned about being a charter, however also they were three German nationals?

 

Not sure if they were flying themselves or if they had a charter pilot!

 

Do you know?

 

Cheers Guy

Guy, they were flying themselves. I copy and pasted that report from Reauters I think it was. They hired the a/c.

 

 

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Forced landing on Highway.

 

Judging by the extent of the damage, must have been a pretty horrific arrival. You would think that you would have a fair chance of getting away with a highway landing, (provided you don't tangle with traffic, wires or overhanging trees) ... Nev...

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear

Agreed Nev. One of the news sources reported he lost control when he hit a wire that was running across the road. Now, I personally can't see why the hell they would have a wire running right across a road. Does not make sense.

 

 

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Wire ?

 

No it doesn't make sense. I suppose we will find out. I had to put a plane down not long ago, and chose a paddock for the reasons I listed above, rather than the road. Wires are not very visible till too late. Nev...

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear

I was just saying that Nev. A paddock out those parts would have been better. Quite flat there but maybe easier said than done. Who knows what was going on in the cabin at the time. The safety report for this one will be interesting.

 

 

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Guest basscheffers

From someone who used to drive a coach up there (from ADL) for a living, I hear there are lots of wires across the road there. The reason is simple: the phone and electricity runs on one side of the road so those have to cross it to get to properties on the other side...

 

 

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From experience, the road there is just about as straight as a road can be. Having driven that road countless times, you would/should have no problem landing a lighty on it, crikey, the RFDS land the PC12's on the road in various spots if they have to.

 

Cant say that there are that many wires out there to trip over either, although I haven't been up there for a few years now.

 

Sounds like he might have just made a mistake.......

 

Now if it was out near Bond Springs airstrip and the JDSRF over the horizon radar antenna array and he picked the wrong one to land on.......:;)6:088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif:ah_oh:...... I know of 1 trainee pilot who almost fell for that one.....:big_grin:

 

regards

 

Phil

 

 

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The following is an extract from the ABC news site (full report at http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/11/2087470.htm

 

it seems to suggest that a vehicle may have been involved. I dont understand how know this, if it does turn out to be true its very bad luck, probably the only vehicle for miles.

 

Three German men were killed when an emergency landing went wrong on the Stuart Highway at Elliott, about 700 kilometres south of Darwin.

 

Police say the pilot was trying to land on the highway when he clipped power lines and crashed nose first on the bitumen.

 

NT police are looking for the driver of a four-wheel drive who may have witnessed the plane crash.

 

Police say the pilot pulled up when he saw the four-wheel drive coming towards him.

 

The plane was chartered in Western Australia and was travelling from Katherine to Kings Creek Station in Central Australia.

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear

Yes, wires crossing the road overhead would be right but not right across or near the rd (for obvious reasons). That 4x4 should come forward and talk about what he witnessed. There is no sort of trouble for the driver as he was just driving along the HWY when an a/c in distress was in his windscreen. Could explain loss of control trying to pull up and avoid the car. This is why the paddock option would have been better. Don't forget from the cockpit you can see what's infront of you for miles. Possibly a low-level stall and crash into the bitumen? Sad they was such an impact they did not know 2 from 3 occupants.

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear

Another pic below. If you look to the right hand corner of the pic you can see powerlines. In the article below it tells of power going out in the town at the time of the crash and witnesses saying they saw the plane cut from the powerlines. He must not have seen them until the last second when it was too late.

 

 

Plane crash kills three

 

ERIC TLOZEK

 

11Nov07

 

THREE German men have died after their plane ploughed nose-first into the Stuart Highway.

 

The chartered single-engine Cessna 172 crashed when it tried to make an emergency landing on the highway, 18km north of Elliott about 11am yesterday.

 

The plane's engine was separated from the fuselage in the crash and debris was scattered for 200 metres around the site.

 

The men, the only occupants of the plane, were travelling in a convoy of three aircraft, believed to travelling from Katherine to Kings Creek Station, 200km southwest of Alice Springs.

 

Police closed the Stuart Highway to traffic for more than three hours while emergency services and accident investigators were called to the scene.

 

One lane was reopened at 2.30pm but police were not expected to reopen the road fully until Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators visit the scene today.

 

The small township of Elliott lost power after the crash and a resident who went to the site said it seemed the plane had hit powerlines hanging across the road.

 

"It looked like the powerline went straight through the plane," he said.

 

"One policeman said to me `you do not want to see this' because the bodies were still inside.

 

"But the crash was right on the highway and there was stuff from the plane all over the road.

 

"It was leaking fuel everywhere."

 

The other two planes landed at Tennant Creek, where police interviewed their passengers.

 

Police said it was too early to tell what had caused the crash.

 

Kings Creek station owner Lyn Conway said she had not known the group was set to arrive yesterday.

 

"This is the first we have heard about it," she said.

 

There is an airstrip at Elliott and another at Newcastle Waters, 10km north of the crash site.

 

 

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Having driven up that road and looking at the picture, the paddock probably wasn't an option. It is pretty scrubby up there. The locals were always taught to pick a couple of good stout trees and land between them. That left the wings and the fuel behind when you hit terra firma.

 

David

 

 

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Looking at Darens pictures how do you think this aircraft has hit impacted?

 

The pics don't show any damage to the wing tips!

 

Left hand wing looks to be fairly straight, while the RH wing is wrapped around the fuse and the tailplane and fin look to be severed.

 

How would an aircraft imact to create this sort of damage? Lots of GGGGG's, but in what direction?

 

How do you do this without severe LE damage to the wings? RH wheel broken of, LH intact!

 

Thought's

 

Cheers Guy

 

 

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Guest pelorus32
Looking at Darens pictures how do you think this aircraft has hit impacted?The pics don't show any damage to the wing tips!

 

Left hand wing looks to be fairly straight, while the RH wing is wrapped around the fuse and the tailplane and fin look to be severed.

 

How would an aircraft imact to create this sort of damage? Lots of GGGGG's, but in what direction?

 

How do you do this without severe LE damage to the wings? RH wheel broken of, LH intact!

 

Thought's

 

Cheers Guy

Entirely speculation from the pictures and some reports. If you hit a wire near the fuselage then the wingtips keep going whilst the fuselage stops - hence the break in the aft midspan of the visible wing. Speculation.

 

M

 

 

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Absolutely correct, however the mass of the wire would not be the same as that of a brick wall. What I am trying to say is if you hit a wire it will probably have some give in it and move with the aircraft for some time before bringing it to a slowing halt, instead of an instant halt. Aircraft that ancounter a wire which does not break usually impact tera firma where one would feel that the majority of the damage is inflicted.

 

Then this would also be affected by the size of the wire and the mass of the aircraft, distance between posts, how close to the post it was hit etc

 

Safe skies

 

Cheers Guy

 

 

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Not sure if the wire was hit or not, but I think it looks like he pulled up, stalled and the result is similar to others who have done the same.

 

Very sad event for all involved, not just those onboard.

 

J

 

 

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Although reluctant to speculate, if he hit the wire he may have hit it with the undercarriage, as a prop strike often cuts the wire (if its a single strand). If he did hit it with the U/C at low speed, he may have pitched over and hit inverted or even tail first. He was extremely unfortunate to have a vehicle coming straight at him, as he could otherwise probably have gone under the wire.

 

 

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from what I understand a prop strike is not likely.....in fact a lack of rotation of said prop may have been the initial problem!J

Excellent point you have there, I think I may need to increase my coffee dosage......

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
from what I understand a prop strike is not likely.....in fact a lack of rotation of said prop may have been the initial prolem!J

Care to 're-speculate' J430 ?? :big_grin:

 

 

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Guest Fred Bear

Seems there is plenty of evidence so far that these guys loved low flight. I mean 70ft! :ah_oh: Witnesses see them flying low along the highway at tree top height several times and then you can be sure one of those powerlines will eventually bite. They are so darn hard to see at the best of times. What gets me is why do people fly at tree top height? I can't wait to get up there when I go flying and for low level flight I prefer the car. Cheaper too.

 

 

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