Accident PADC/Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander VH-BSN, Monday 22 May 1989
ASN logo

Date:Monday 22 May 1989
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
PADC/Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander
Owner/operator:Cockatoo Island Airways
Registration: VH-BSN
MSN: 3005
Year of manufacture:1981
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:56 km NW off Derby, WA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Cockatoo Island Airport, WA (YCTI)
Destination airport:Derby Airport, WA (DRB/YDBY)
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot of a chartered BN-2A-26 Islander had planned the direct track for the flight from Cockatoo Island to Derby, Australia at 5500 feet above sea level.
When the pilot gave his departure call he amended his cruising level to below 5000 feet. No further calls were received from the aircraft. The Cockatoo Island work boat was 56 kilometres north-north-west of Derby, and approximately 20 kilometres west of the direct track between Cockatoo Island and Derby. The crew of the boat observed an aircraft approaching at very low level. The aircraft passed over the boat approximately 5-7 metres above the deck, and entered a right hand turn. During the turn the right wing tip struck the water causing the aircraft to cartwheel and crash about 400 metres from the boat. The fuselage broke open on impact and the occupants were subsequently rescued by the crew of the boat. The pilot declined to provide any information which might have clarified the circumstances of the accident, however, available information indicates that he carried out an unauthorized low pass over the boat. During the turn following the low pass, he misjudged the aircraft's height and the right wing tip struck the water.

Significant Factors:
1. The pilot was neither trained nor authorized to conduct operations at low level.
2. The pilot exercised poor judgement by operating at an unnecessarily low height.
3. The pilot misjudged his height above the water.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Report number: 198900237
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314