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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 253804
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Time:c. 12:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Van's RV-7A
Registration: VH-XWI
MSN: 73427
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:90km S of Charters Towers, QLD -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Winton Airport, QLD (WIN/YWTN)
Destination airport:Bowen Airport, QLD (ZBO/YBWN)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Vanís RV-7A, registered VH-XWI, was being operated on a private flight under the visual flight rules (VFR) from Winton to Bowen, Queensland, Australia. The pilot, the sole occupant and the owner of the aircraft, had been on a multi-day tour in company with 3 other pilots, each operating their own aircraft.

About 2 hours after departing Winton, and about 90 km south of Charters Towers, the aircraft sustained an in-flight break-up. The pilot was fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed.

The ATSB found that the pilot departed Winton with a high risk of encountering adverse weather conditions along the planned route. About 100 km into the flight, overhead Catumnal Station, the pilot most likely entered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and lost control of the aircraft several times, recovering control within 50 ft of the ground. The pilot then turned back towards Winton.

About 11 km into the return leg, the pilot resumed track to Bowen, climbing to above 10,000 ft. The pilot flew at multiple altitudes between 10,000 ft and 500 ft above the ground, most likely to avoid weather along the track. The pilot again likely entered weather conditions before becoming spatially disorientated, resulting in loss of aircraft control. This led to the airspeed limitations of the aircraft being exceeded before rudder flutter structurally compromised the tail group, leading to a catastrophic airframe failure and in-flight break-up.

There were no operational reasons for the pilot to continue the flight to Bowen, and the pilot probably had a self-imposed motivation or pressure to continue the flight.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

23-Apr-2021 06:49 gerard57 Added
23-Apr-2021 07:15 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
23-Apr-2021 07:16 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
23-Apr-2021 07:36 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
23-Apr-2021 09:00 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
23-Apr-2021 19:42 harro Updated [Category]
30-Apr-2021 23:15 Captain Adam Updated [Narrative, Category]
09-Nov-2022 10:28 harro Updated [Category]

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