THE LOSS OF WIRRAWAY A20-212  

The official investigation into the crash of A20-212 determined that the crew were operating the aircraft in accordance with procedures as briefed.   It states, in part, that the aircraft while operating at 95 kts with 20 degrees of flap stalled and flicked to starboard while making a steep turn to port at 150 ft.   Pilot unable to regain control and a/c crashed on crowded beach.   There was evidence that although the pilot had selected 20 degrees of flap, they had extended to 30 degrees without his knowledge.   This would have altered the aircraft performance accordingly and could account for the departure from controlled flight at 95kts.

The newspapers of the time add to the story.   They state that the observer in the rear cockpit spotted a shark in the gutter that ran between Maroochydore Beach and Alexander Headland.   In the ensuing tight turn to keep the shark in sight and alert the lookout tower and surf boat, the starboard wing tip struck the sand and sent the Wirraway cart wheeling into families on the beach.


The official investigation into the crash of A20-212 determined that the crew were operating the aircraft in accordance with procedures as briefed. It states, in part, that the aircraft while operating at 95 kts with 20 degrees of flap stalled and flicked to starboard while making a steep turn to port at 150 ft. Pilot unable to regain control and a/c crashed on crowded beach. There was evidence that although the pilot had selected 20 degrees of flap, they had extended to 30 degrees without his knowledge. This would have altered the aircraft performance accordingly and could account for the departure from controlled flight at 95kts.

The newspapers of the time add to the story. They state that the observer in the rear cockpit spotted a shark in the gutter that ran between Maroochydore Beach and Alexander Headland. In the ensuing tight turn to keep the shark in sight and alert the lookout tower and surf boat, the starboard wing tip struck the sand and sent the Wirraway cart wheeling into families on the beach.


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