Incident Pilatus PC-12/47E VH-OWI, Monday 22 June 2020
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Date:Monday 22 June 2020
Time:21:55 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PC12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Pilatus PC-12/47E
Owner/operator:Royal Flying Doctor Service
Registration: VH-OWI
MSN: 1232
Year of manufacture:2010
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Location:near Albany, WA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Jandakot
Destination airport:Albany
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On the evening of 22 June 2020, a Royal Flying Doctor Service, Pilatus PC-12/47E registered VH‑OWI was conducting a positioning flight from Jandakot to Albany, Western Australia. Approximately four minutes into the descent to Albany Airport in instrument meteorological conditions the pilot observed an airspeed miscompare indication on the left primary flight display (PFD).
Having assessed that a blocked pitot tube was the likely cause of the issue, the pilot elected to climb the aircraft in an attempt to get clear of cloud. During this climb the pilot’s indicated airspeed increased and exceeded the aircraft’s maximum allowable speed. The pilot reported also receiving an overspeed alert at this time and consequently elected to discontinue the planned flight and return the aircraft to Jandakot.
When unable to obtain visual conditions, the pilot elected to descend the aircraft. During this descent the left indicated airspeed reduced to zero, however, no stall warning was activated. At 6,000 ft visual conditions were obtained, however, the turbulence at this level was severe. At this time the pilot observed a heading miscompare on both the left and right PFDs. Due to the severity of the turbulence at 6,000 ft the pilot climbed the aircraft first to 8,000 ft and then 10,000 ft on the return to Jandakot.
The pilot reported that on approach to Jandakot all indications had returned to normal and remained that way until short final when an altitude mismatch and low airspeed warning was identified on the PFDs.

The ATSB determined that during the flight, water entered the aircraft’s pitot tube either as rain or an accumulation of moisture from flying through cloud. Due to a blockage in the pitot tube drain the water had been unable to escape. This in turn obstructed the flow of air to the aircraft’s air data attitude heading reference system, resulting in an incorrect airspeed being displayed on the left PFD and triggering miscompare indications on both PFDs.
In addition, a heading miscompare was likely caused by the aircraft’s movement through an area of moderate to severe turbulence during the return to Jandakot.
Finally, the ATSB found that recent training that the pilot had undertaken helped them to identify the erroneous airspeed data.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report



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