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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 215735
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AT3P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Air Tractor AT-301
Registration: VH-FRC
MSN: 301-0286
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:65km E of Walgett, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:65km E of Walgett, NSW
Destination airport:65km E of Walgett, NSW
Investigating agency: BASI
The pilot was making night spraying runs over a cotton crop. During the third run at about 50 feet above ground level, the engine suddenly lost all power. The pilot attempted a landing at slow speed in a flooded cotton field. Almost immediately after touchdown, the aircraft nosed over and sank into the soft muddy surface. The pilot was able to extricate himself from the partly water-filled cockpit. The subsequent examination of the engine revealed massive internal damage. It was likely that one connecting rod had failed, and this led to similar failures in three other cylinders. The reason for the initial failure was not determined. The pilot had selected the most suitable area available for the forced landing. When the aircraft overturned, the fibreglass roof of the cockpit failed, and cut into the top of the pilot's helmet. Had the pilot not been wearing this protection, it was likely he would have suffered head injuries and probably drowned.


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


Photo of VH-FRC courtesy

Tamworth (YSTW / TMW)
November 1997; (c) AustAirData Collection

Revision history:

27-Sep-2018 12:06 Pineapple Added
23-Mar-2021 19:13 BEAVERSPOTTER Updated [Cn, Damage]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description