Selected Australian Accidents/Incidents 1 January – 30 March 2021


Date 1 January
Aircraft Schweizer 269
Location Nebo, Qld
Fatalities 0
Description Engine failed during cruise and pilot made autorotation landing in paddock. Helicopter landed hard and was substantially damaged. Inspection found fuel tank breather blocked by a wasp nest

Date 2 January
Aircraft Jabiru J230
Location Wedderburn, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description During circuit operations, the engine failed, and the pilot made a forced landing. Inspection revealed piston in no. 5 cylinder had failed.

Date 5 January
Aircraft Beechcraft King Air 300
Location Hughenden, Qld
Fatalities 0
Description During approach, the pilot of an emergency medical service flight saw a vehicle enter the landing strip and made a missed approach.

Date 9 January
Aircraft Air Tractor (model not stated)
Location Near Gunnedah, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description During aerial agricultural operations the aircraft struck a tree resulting in substantial damage. The pilot made a forced landing.

Date 13 January
Aircraft Air Tractor AT-502
Location Near Moree, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description During initial climb, the aircraft encountered a downdraught and collided with terrain resulting in substantial damage.

Date 15 January
Aircraft DJI (drone)
Location Sydney, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description During aerial filming, the pilot lost directional control of the drone, which collided with a hotel window resulting in minor injuries to the hotel occupant. The drone was destroyed. ATSB investigating.

Date 27 January
Aircraft Beechcraft B55 Baron
Location Parafield Airport, SA
Fatalities 0
Description Aircraft landed with nose gear retracted after mechanical failure during night training flight.

Date 11 February
Aircraft Robinson R22 Beta
Location Near Hughenden, Qld
Fatalities 1
Description Aircraft reported missing on positioning flight. Wreckage and body of pilot,84, found in creek bed the next morning.

Date 5 February
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Location Over south-western South Australia
Fatalities 0
Description Qantas flight from Melbourne to Perth made emergency descent from Flight Level 400 to 10,000 ft after depressurisation indication. Aircraft diverted to Adelaide.

Date 20 February
Aircraft Tecnam P92 Echo
Location Burnie Airport, Tas
Fatalities 0
Description Light sport aircraft encountered crosswind on landing and ran off runway. Pilot, 77, taken to hospital with back pain.

Date 28 February
Aircraft American Champion 8GCBC Scout
Location Bankstown Airport, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description Tail-dragger GA aircraft tipped on to nose during landing run. Pilot reported unexpected sudden tailwind gust.

Date 28 February
Aircraft EDRA Super Petrel LS
Location North Stradbroke Island, Qld
Fatalities 0
Description Pilot of light sport amphibious biplane saw a wing delaminating during cruise flight and responded with prompt precautionary landing.

Date 3 March
Aircraft Weight-shift trike
Location Near Exmouth, WA
Fatalities 2
Description Aircraft reported missing at 1630 after failing to return to aerodrome. Wreckage and bodies of man and woman found three hours later in a nearby canyon.

Date 7 March
Aircraft Bantam B22
Location Near Holbrook, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description Engine (two-stroke Rotax 582) developed intermittent power loss in cruise flight. Pilot elected to make a precautionary landing in paddock near Hume Highway. Inspection in paddock was inconclusive and engine performance recovered. Passenger elected to return by highway but held tail of aircraft to enable short take-off. Carburettor ice suspected.

Date 16 March
Aircraft Cessna 441
Location Gove Aerodrome, NT
Fatalities 0
Description During approach, the pilot reported aileron control difficulty. Engineering inspection revealed a loose screw had fouled the controls at the aileron quadrant in the left wing preventing left aileron input.

Date 19 March
Aircraft Boeing 737-300
Location Approaching Brisbane Airport, Qld
Fatalities 0
Description Airliner of Nauru Airlines experienced engine compressor stall during approach. Passengers, alarmed by noise and flames, promptly posted to social media.

Date 25 March
Aircraft Diamond DA42
Location Bankstown Airport, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description After engine start, the pilot exited the aircraft. The aircraft started to roll resulting in the pilot falling and sustaining minor injuries. Aircraft then collided with a fence resulting in minor damage.

Date 30 March
Aircraft Boeing 737
Location Richmond RAAF Base, NSW
Fatalities 0
Description Firefighting aircraft rolled forward on the apron until the nose hit a hangar door


Sources: Aviation Safety Network, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, RA-AUS