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RANS Coyote
Holbrook, NSW
5 July 2003

Accident Investigation Report


1. FACTS

1.1 History of Flight
Witnesses reported that the pilot and his passenger departed Holbrook for a local flight on the Saturday afternoon. A staff member reported that shortly afterwards members of the club received a complaint that an aircraft matching the description of the aircraft in question was low flying and frightening stock over their property. An attempt was made to contact the pilot by radio and advise him of the complaint however it is unclear whether contact was actually made. Around 1400 hours the club was informed that an aircraft had crashed in the vicinity of the property that had originated the complaint.
1.2 Injuries
Both pilot and passenger received fatal injuries as a result of the crash.
1.3 Damage to Aircraft
The aircraft was severely damaged in the accident. It hit the ground in a steep nose down attitude and came to rest against a boundary fence. Marks on the site indicate that the wingtip was the first part of the aircraft to make contact with a fence stay that supported the fence strainer post.
1.4 Pilot In Command
The pilot in command was an 18 year old male. He was correctly pilot certificated and had obtained his pilot qualification shortly after his 16th birthday. RA-Aus records indicate that he had 66 hours experience at the time of his accident, however this record refers to March 2003 and he would have acquired further experience after that date. The pilot's CFI has stated that he was an above average pilot.
1.5 Passenger
The passenger was an 18 year old female and an acquaintance of the pilot.
1.6 Aircraft Information
Make: RANS
Model: Coyote II Type S6S
Amateur built, RA-Aus registered
1.7 Serviceability
The aircraft was relatively new having been first registered in January 2001.
The aircraft was in good condition and the maintenance was up to date.
1.8 Instrumentation
All mandatory instruments were fitted.
1.10 Weather
Temperature 13° C; wind light and variable; turbulence slight.

2. WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

2.1 Location
The accident location was approximately ten kilometres north of the departure aerodrome.
2.2 Final Flight Path and Impact Point(s)
The aircraft was in a nose down position eight metres from a secondary road and resting against a boundary fence.
2.3 Controls
The aileron control rod was still attached.

The engine ancillary pull/on controls were bent but in the off position (carb. heat /choke).

All flying controls were connected.
2.4 Structure
The port wing was severed at the strut attachment point and badly crumpled.

The nose wheel and spat were still attached.

Fuel was still leaking from both tanks an hour and a half after the incident.

The complete port undercarriage unit was 20 m west of the site and the starboard unit was in the vicinity of the wreckage.

The nose of the aircraft was badly crumpled.

A fence strainer post was situated 5 m east of the main wreckage. This post had a steel tube for bracing. White paint flakes were found on the eastern side of this bracing tube, together with adjacent marks in the earth and four inspection plates. The evidence points to this being the first point of contact. Inspection of the port wing shows a deep indentation, which matches this support post. Earth marks were also found on the corresponding wingtip.

The ground below the nose of the aircraft shows three distinct impressions where the propeller blades have struck the ground and show that the aircraft was in an extreme nose down attitude when it struck the ground.

There was a long impact mark in the earth where the leading edge of the starboard wing struck the ground on impact. Damage to this wing can be seen along its entire length.

The bracing above the cockpit although severely buckled, did not indicate any sign of pre-impact distortion and the wing roots were still attached to the airframe, as were the lift struts.

The empennage was intact but showed signs of deformation.
2.5 Engine & Propeller
One propeller blade was still attached to the hub, the second blade had snapped at the root and was buried in the mud. The third blade was also found in the mud in the vicinity of the wreckage.

NB. The mud was due to the action of the Fire Brigade who doused the wreckage in foam to reduce the risk of fire.
2.6 Fuel System
The fuel system was intact and the tanks contained fuel.
2.7 Cockpit Instruments
The instrument panel was very badly distorted. The damage was so extensive that the investigator had trouble identifying the equipment carried.

3. CONCLUSION

  • There was no evidence to suggest that there was any unserviceability or mechanical problem with the aircraft prior to wingtip impact with the strainer stay
  • .
  • The pilot was properly qualified and current on the type.
  • The weather was good.
  • A statement from a club staff person confirmed that the aircraft had been reported flying very low in the vicinity of the crash site minutes before the accident.

4. ACTION FOR AUF

    RA-Aus to continue to educate pilots on:
  • The inherent dangers of low flying;
  • The risks of poor decision making;
  • The obvious fatal penalties for failing to observe the basic rules governing aviation.





" The AUF investigates accidents and incidents with the SOLE intention of preventing the same accident happening again."

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