Hard landing Accident Taylorcraft Auster AOP.III VH-GCV,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 19207
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Date:Monday 14 January 1974
Type:Taylorcraft Auster AOP.III
Registration: VH-GCV
MSN: 258
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Latrobe Valley Aerodrome, Morwell, VIC -   Australia
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Latrobe Valley Airport, Morwell, Victoria (YLTV)
Destination airport:Latrobe Valley Airport, Morwell, Victoria (YLTV)
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Ex-RAF Auster AOP.III MZ123; Delivered to 656 Squadron on 25/02/43, but transferred to 652 Squadron on 23/03/43. On 10/08/43, MZ123 suffered an undercarriage collapse after a heavy landing in Ayrshire, but was soon back on squadron strength following repairs. It is doubtful if MZ123 went to France with the squadron in June 1944, for on 04/07/ 44, it was flown to 20 MU Aston Down for storage. On 24/01/45 it was returned to Taylorcraft for a major inspection, after which was ferried to 222 MU at High Ercall on 02/03/45 Three days later, MZ123 passed to 20 MU Aston Down again until 27/07/45 when it is reported to have moved to 22 MU at Silloth. Exactly one month later, the airframe was conveyed to Newcastle docks, having been sold to the Royal Australian Air Force. Shipped out aboard SS 'Craugefontein' on 12/09/45. it arrived at Sydney on 03/11/45. and after assembly was allotted the serial A 11-56.

Substantially damaged in an accident at Lincoln Gap. Pilot D.N. McPherson. First civil registered as VH-GCV 28/06/1960 for the Gliding Club of Victoria (hence "GCV" registration!); later sold on and written off 14/01/1974, as follows:

The aircraft was observed to take-off from Latrobe Valley Airfield towards the west in calm conditions and, almost immediately after it became airborne, the starboard wing lowered and a climbing turn to the right was commenced. As the turn progressed the angle of bank increased until, after the aircraft had turned through approximately 90 degrees, it was estimated to be about 45 degrees. At this stage, at what appeared to be a low airspeed, the starboard wing struck the top of a tall pine tree situated about 125 metres to the north of the strip from which the take-off was made.

The aircraft then descended steeply and struck the ground in a nose down attitude some 35 metres north of the tree. Examination of the wreckage disclosed no evidence of any pre-existing defect or malfunction of the aircraft which may have contributed to the accident. The pilot (Desider MIKECZ, aged 47) has said that he suffered a loss of memory and is unable to recall the circumstances of the flight or the accident.

By mid-2007 the remains of VH-GCV arrived at Penfield, SA, along with the remains of Tiger Moth VH-CEJ, ostensibly for both to be rebuilt. By 18 August 2011 the framework of VH-GCV was on display at the Ballarat Air Museum, Ballarat.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. Auster Quarterly Vol.1 No.4 (Winter/Spring 1976)
2. http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24608/197403099.pdf
3. http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austcl/VH-GCV.html
4. http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/.au/2a11.htm
5. https://flickr.com/photos/46332425@N04/6056554985/
6. http://austerhg.org/prod_list/pages.php?page=149
7. http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1974/aair/aair197403099.aspx

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
28-Apr-2014 17:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
28-Apr-2014 17:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Jun-2022 02:54 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
10-Jun-2022 04:35 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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