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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74417
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Time:19:35 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic AC50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aero Commander 500S Shrike Commander
Owner/operator:Executive Air Services Pty Ltd.
Registration: VH-EXT
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2 miles west of Warracknabeal Aerodrome, Victoria -   Australia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Essendon, Melbourne (MEB/YMEN)
Destination airport:Warracknabeal Airport (WKB/YWKB)
Investigating agency: BASI
At approximately 1935 hours EST on 6 May, 1969 an Aero Commander 500S aircraft, registered VH-EXT, struck the ground and crashed 2 miles west of Warracknabeal Aerodrome, Victoria, while making an approach to land at that aerodrome.

The aircraft was owned and operated by Executive Air Services Pty. Ltd. of Melbourne. and at the time of the accident it was engaged on a scheduled passenger commuter service between Essendon and Warracknabeal.

After entering the circuit the pilot commenced a downwind leg for a landing towards the east on runway 08. He made a left turn onto base leg and noted the indicated altitude as 1,000 feet, and at that altitude, the clearance between the aircraft and the local terrain should have been slightly more than 600 feet. On the base leg of the circuit, the pilot was unable to see the runway lights and being unsure of his position, he elected to conduct a go around.

He did not retract the undercarriage, which had been extended earlier in preparation for landing, and the pilot continued the second circuit at 1,000 feet indicated altitude rather than climbing to establish 1,000 feet terrain clearance which would have been the normal procedure. He flew over the non-directional beacon, which is located approximately 300 yards north of the western end of the runway on which he intended to land arid he then positioned the aircraft for the downwind leg of the circuit.

The pilot, Allan James WALKER, and one passenger received minor injuries. A second passenger, the only other occupant, was seriously injured. The aircraft was virtually destroyed by impact forces.

When removed from the wreckage, both altimeters gave erroneous readings. Detailed examination of the instruments indicated that each had been capable of normal operation prior to the accident and that the subsequent inaccuracies were the result of impact damage.

ATSB Conclusion: The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot, in approaching an aerodrome at night, did not use appropriate circuit procedures and did not make full use of the available visual and instrument information to ensure adequate terrain clearance.



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


Photo: BASI

Revision history:

20-May-2010 11:05 Petro Added
05-Apr-2014 19:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Apr-2014 19:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Nov-2014 23:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport]
11-Nov-2018 13:38 harro Updated [Photo, Accident report, ]

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