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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48753
Last updated: 22 November 2021
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Date:03-FEB-1997
Time:10:43
Type:Silhouette image of generic M18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
PZL M-18A Dromader
Owner/operator:
Registration: VH-JTD
MSN: 1Z024-14
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Maddington, WA -   Australia
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Perth, WA
Destination airport:Perth, WA
Narrative:
Two aircraft were being used to suppress bushfires in the Perth basin. At approximately 1027 WST, the aircraft were called to a fire near Maddington, an outer suburb of Perth approximately 6 NM south-east of Perth airport. The pilot of VH-JTD reported that no problems were identified during the pre-takeoff checks.

Both aircraft departed at approximately 1035 towards the south. Air traffic controllers in the tower noted that JTD, the accident aircraft, flew a shallower departure profile than the other aircraft. The pilot later reported that the profile resulted from his operating technique and not from any problem associated with the aircraft.

Because the bushfire was relatively close to the airport, both aircraft climbed to only 1,200 ft before descending to conduct the inspection circuit at about 1,000 ft. While communicating with the bushfire ground controllers, the pilots positioned their aircraft in a left circuit pattern to reduce the time during which the aircraft were climbing out over populated areas. The pilots then approached the fire from the south-east. The first aircraft dropped its load of fire retardant without incident.

The pilot of JTD reported that he set up the approach slightly tighter and steeper than usual due to the proximity of housing. Just prior to the base turn, he selected full flap and set the propeller to a fine-pitch setting.

During the base turn, the pilot reported that he needed more elevator control back pressure than usual to maintain the aircraft's nose attitude. The pilot initially thought that the aircraft's trim setting needed adjusting, until the nose dropped further. The pilot levelled the wings and fully opened the throttle: this appeared to have little or no effect and he decided to immediately dump the load of retardant. He could not recall any engine instrument indications. Because the dump system had been set up for a partial dump only, he decided to use the manual lever rather than the electric switch to dump all the fire retardant. Following the loss of engine power, the pilot turned on the emergency fuel pump as required in the emergency checklist, but did not apply carburettor heat.

The pilot reported that the aircraft appeared to travel further than expected during the descent. He flew the aircraft close to the stall at approximately 60 kts during the forced landing, using rudder to control wing drop. Having passed over several streets, the pilot decided to attempt to land the aircraft on a small street, parallel and close to the aircraft's flight path.

The aircraft severed a set of powerlines at the northern end of the street before its right wing struck and broke a power pole. The aircraft then veered right, glanced off the roof of an occupied house, and embedded itself into the next house, which was unoccupied at the time.

Sources:

http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1997/AAIR/aair199700297.aspx


Images:


At front of 5 Conifer Street Maddington, Western Australia November 1997

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-May-2018 08:08 Anon. Updated [Narrative, Photo, ]

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