Mid-air collision Accident Air Tractor AT-502B VH-ATB, Tuesday 26 February 2008
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Date:Tuesday 26 February 2008
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT5T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Air Tractor AT-502B
Registration: VH-ATB
MSN: 502B-0287
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Trindalls Lane, 10 Km north of Wee Waa, NSW -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Agricultural Strip, 13 km NE Wee Waa, NSW
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At about 0936 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 26 February 2008, an Air Tractor Inc., registered VH-CJK that was aerial spraying 10 km north-east of Wee Waa, New South Wales and an Air Tractor Inc., registered VH-ATB that had just departed from a nearby airstrip, collided at about 200 ft above ground level.

The pilot of CJK was fatally injured and the pilot of ATB was seriously injured. Both aircraft were seriously damaged. Neither pilot was aware of the other aircraft and, although visibility at the time of the accident was reported as 'good', either one or both pilots did not see the other aircraft in sufficient time to avoid a collision.

The limitations of an unalerted visual traffic scan could explain why both pilots may not have seen the other aircraft but, without the knowledge of one another's intended operations they lacked situational awareness. Generally, agricultural pilots relied on visual separation and vertical segregation to avoid collisions. In this instance, the proximity of the field being sprayed to the airstrip from which ATB took off and the aircraft's climb gradient from that airstrip, brought the two aircraft into conflict.

The pilot of VH-ATB survived the mid-air collision; the pilot of VH-CJK was killed

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. https://www.smh.com.au/news/national/pilot-killed-in-midair-crash/2008/02/26/1203788297922.html
2. http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2008/aair/ao-2008-014.aspx
3. http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/1577541/ao-2008-014%20final.pdf

Revision history:

27-Feb-2008 09:36 Fusko Added
27-Feb-2008 09:37 harro Updated
27-Feb-2008 11:16 harro Updated
09-Apr-2014 23:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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