Accident SIAI-Marchetti S.211 VH-DZJ, Sunday 19 November 2023
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Date:Sunday 19 November 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic S211 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
SIAI-Marchetti S.211
Owner/operator:Jetworks Aviation (owner: Elektrika Pty Ltd)
Registration: VH-DZJ
MSN: 005/02-002
Year of manufacture:1985
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Port Phillip Bay, about 12km W of Mornington, VIC -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Melbourne-Essendon Fields Airport, VIC (MEB/YMEN)
Destination airport:Melbourne-Essendon Fields Airport, VIC (MEB/YMEN)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Two SIAI-Marchetti S.211 jets (VH-DQJ and VH-DZJ) collided in mid-air over Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. VH-DZJ lost control and crashed, killing both occupants. VH-DQJ sustained damage but was able to safely return to Essendon Airport.

The flight operated using the callsign ‘Viper Formation’ and intended to undertake in-flight filming of both aircraft over Port Phillip Bay.
VH-DQJ was the formation leader, operating as ‘Viper 1’, with a pilot and safety pilot (see section titled Pilot details) on board. VH-DZJ was operating as ‘Viper 2’ with a pilot and camera operator on board.
As briefed prior to departure, the first of the manoeuvres involved Viper 1 flying inverted, straight and level, while Viper 2, flying upright, moved to the right line abreast position for filming.
After completing this manoeuvre, Viper 1 rolled inverted for a repeat of this manoeuvre. On this occasion, instead of moving toward the line abreast and level position, the pilot of Viper 2 manoeuvred to pass below and to the left of Viper 1.

The safety pilot in Viper 1 observed Viper 2 pass beneath and alerted the pilot of Viper 1 to the manoeuvre. The pilot of Viper 1 then rolled upright and contacted the pilot of Viper 2 to discuss the manoeuvre. The pilot of Viper 2 advised that passing underneath Viper 1 provided a good filming opportunity and requested to repeat the manoeuvre. After discussing the manoeuvre, the pilots decided to attempt the previous manoeuvre again, and Viper 2 moved to the right echelon position to recommence the manoeuvre.

As with the previous attempt, Viper 2 moved rearward to allow Viper 1 to roll inverted. As Viper 1 stabilised in the inverted attitude, Viper 2 began manoeuvring to pass beneath Viper 1. Viper 1 then stabilised in the inverted attitude and as Viper 2 approached, the vertical separation between the 2 aircraft reduced. Viper 2 passed beneath and began to pitch up and bank away from Viper 1. At 13:33, as Viper 2 climbed and banked left, the right wings of each aircraft collided.
VH-DZJ impacted the water and VH-DQJ landed safely at Melbourne-Essendon Fields Airport at 13:50.

Contributing factors
• During a formation flight for the purpose of in-flight filming, Viper 2 was manoeuvred directly beneath Viper 1 for a filming opportunity. This manoeuvre had not been briefed before the flight and increased the risk of collision. An in-flight discussion of the manoeuvre did not allow full consideration of the associated risks before a second attempt was commenced.
• During the second attempt of the manoeuvre, Viper 2 passed beneath, and climbed toward, an inverted Viper 1 and the right wings of each aircraft collided.
• The damage sustained by Viper 2 during the collision led to an immediate loss of control and soon after, a collision with water. Viper 1 was not significantly damaged, and that aircraft landed safely.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: AO-2023-057
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 8 months
Download report: Final report

Sources: (photo)



Revision history:

19-Nov-2023 08:03 gerard57 Added
19-Nov-2023 08:24 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities]
19-Nov-2023 08:59 gerard57 Updated [Source]
19-Nov-2023 09:10 RobertMB Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
19-Nov-2023 10:14 Bidgee Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Category]
19-Nov-2023 10:29 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
19-Nov-2023 11:49 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
19-Nov-2023 17:31 RobertMB Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category]
19-Nov-2023 17:56 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
19-Nov-2023 18:40 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
20-Nov-2023 07:52 Aerossurance Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
20-Nov-2023 08:24 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
17-Jan-2024 20:31 harro Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]
18-Jul-2024 05:42 ASN Updated

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