Accident SIAI-Marchetti S.211 VH-DQJ, Sunday 19 November 2023
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Date:Sunday 19 November 2023
Time:c. 13:34 LT
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: MV Air Pty Ltd)
Registration: VH-DQJ
MSN: 025/02-015
Year of manufacture:1985
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
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: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
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.

The following air traffic control audio was recorded on the YMML channel from LiveATC (times are estimated):

1:35:00pm - VH-DQJ - Uh I think that uh Viper two has uh entered the water. Viper one, mayday mayday mayday.
1:35:08pm - Melbourne - Viper one, roger the mayday and you anticipate Viper two into the water?
1:35:13pm - VH-DQJ - I'm anticipating Viper two in the water. We can see a splash mark. Not sure what's going on down there. We have a little bit of leading edge damage but we're flying okay.
1:35:21pm - Melbourne - Viper one okay, squawk ident if you're able.

1:36:49pm - VH-DQJ - P-O-B two and Viper one is also P-O-B two.
1:36:52pm - Melbourne - Viper one o-

1:39:18pm - Melbourne - (Hey hey) are you returning to Essendon?
1:39:20pm - VH-DQJ - Viper one is (disabled turned to)
1:39:24pm - Melbourne - Viper one thanks for that, if you have time squawk three four five four
1:39:28pm - VH-DQJ - Three four five four standby

1:40:56pm - VH-DQJ - Via West Gate if uh we're uh I'm open we're we're flying uh well okay and uh we're happy to go back in uh in (any way)
1:41:04pm - Melbourne - Viper one okay copy for a normal approach and landing and you just anticipate tracking north along the coast then?
1:41:11pm - VH-DQJ - Yeah we are just to keep it close and uh and requesting runway (three) six *** runway six anyway *** request (to be requiring that)
1:41:18pm - Melbourne - Viper one okay understood you can expect runway two six I'll let them know and what's your preferred altitude I see you maintaining two thousand six hundred there?
1:41:26pm - VH-DQJ - Look if we can we can maintain two thousand five hundred uh until we're on uh close to a downwind and then we'll descend from there
1:41:35pm - Melbourne - Viper one no problem two thousand five hundred I'll just have a chat with Moorabbin tower as well
1:41:42pm - VH-DQJ - Thjanks

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: AO-2023-057
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report

Sources: (photo)

History of this aircraft

Ex Republic of Singapore Air Force 394



Revision history:

19-Nov-2023 08:06 gerard57 Added
19-Nov-2023 08:23 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities]
19-Nov-2023 08:27 Bidgee Updated [Registration, Cn, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
19-Nov-2023 08:58 gerard57 Updated [Source]
19-Nov-2023 10:26 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Embed code]
19-Nov-2023 10:45 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Embed code]
19-Nov-2023 14:26 Saccani Updated [Location, Damage, Narrative]
19-Nov-2023 17:51 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Location, Source]
19-Nov-2023 18:23 RobertMB Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative, Category]
19-Nov-2023 18:26 RobertMB Updated [Location, Narrative]
19-Nov-2023 18:48 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
20-Nov-2023 07:46 Anon. Updated [Source, Narrative]
20-Nov-2023 07:49 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
20-Nov-2023 08:24 Anon. Updated [Time, Narrative]
17-Jan-2024 19:07 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Phase, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]

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