Accident de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth VH-BLH,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 209314
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Date:Saturday 6 January 1996
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
Owner/operator:Ivor N Paech
Registration: VH-BLH
MSN: T303
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:2km South of Mount Compass, SA -   Australia
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Kensington Airstrip, SA
Destination airport:Old Noarlunga, SA
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth MSN DHA.974; Built by DH Australia at Bankstown, Sydney, NSW. Taken on charge as A17-539 at 2 Aircraft Depot, Richmond 20.6.42. To 1 AOS Cootamundra 17.7.42. To 8 EFTS Narrandera 6.9.42. To DH Australia at Mascot, Sydney, NSW 30.10.44 for overhaul (DHA No T303). To 2 Aircraft Park Bankstown, NSW 19.12.44. To Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm at NAS Bankstown on loan 20.12.44 [until 31.10.45]. Returned to RAAF at 10 EFTS Temora 26.11.45 for storage; transferred to Care & Maintenance Unit 12.3.46; for sale 7.6.46.

Struck off RAAF charge when sold 6.9.46 for £100 to Association of Australian Aero Clubs; issued 21.9.46. Australian civil registered as VH-AZP (C of R 1116) 14.11.46 to Royal Aero Club of NSW, Mascot, Sydney, NSW. Damaged when struck HT wires during practice forced landing Wiseman’s Ferry, NSW 29.8.50; repaired and returned to service.

Re-registered 30.8.54 to Geoffrey A Seymour, Malvern, Victoria. Re-registered 1.11.55 to Latrobe Valley Aero Club, Morwell, Victoria. Re-registered 22.1.57 to Robert R Richey, t/a Richey Fishing Co, Lakes Entrance, Victoria. Re-registered 16.11.64 to J J Salter, Launceston, Tasmania. Re-registered 31.8.65 to A H Purvis, Bridport, Tasmania. Re-registerd 7.9.67 to Geoffrey N Dodge, Currie, King Island, Tasmania. Badly damaged in a forced landing into the sea at Sea Elephant Bay, off Naracoopa, King Island, Tasmania 27.3.69; aircraft towed ashore. Registration VH-AZP cancelled 10.4.69 as "Withdrawn From Use".

Reportedly bought 1982 by Australian War Memorial, Canberra and rebuilt to static condition as museum piece; painted as A17-539. Re-registered VH-BLH 21.3.94 to Ivor N Paech, Christies Beach, SA; painted in RAAF colours as A17- 539. First reflown after rebuild 15.1.95. Crashed into tree and gully on take-off from strip at Mount Compass, near Adelaide and destroyed by fire 6.1.96

According to the ATSB Report into the incident:
"The pilot, accompanied by a passenger, was departing from an airstrip which had a dry short grass surface, aligned in an east west direction, and located on the top of a lightly timbered hill. The weather was reported as being fine, with a gusty 10 - 15kt wind blowing from the south west. The pilot stated that he had ascertained the crosswind component was within the limits for the aircraft before commencing a take off towards the west.

He reported that the engine power and acceleration were normal, but after becoming airborne he noticed the aircraft appeared to be sluggish, and slow to climb. The automatic wing slats had deployed indicating the aircraft was at, or near its stall speed. He had difficulty maintaining directional control, and the aircraft veered to the right. He considered rejecting the take off, but as the aircraft was moving with a sideways motion he decided to allow it to accelerate in ground effect rather than chance a landing which may have impose a side load to the landing gear, and the possibility for it to collapse.

The pilot believed the wind gusts increased and changed to a tailwind component, further reducing the aircraft's climb performance. As the aircraft departed from the airstrip area the pilot was unable to arrest the sideways drift before colliding with a tree. The aircraft was extensively damaged, and the pilot was unable to turn the fuel off as the selector was inaccessible due to airframe distortion.

He evacuated himself from the rear cockpit, then assisted the passenger to exit from the front cockpit. During the evacuation smoke was observed around the front cockpit floor area, which originated from fuel contacting the hot engine and exhaust. The aircraft then became engulfed in flames, resulting in an extensive grass/bushfire."

Mount Compass is a town and locality in the Australian state of South Australia located in the Mount Lofty Ranges, on the A13 south of Adelaide, and north of Victor Harbor. Regsitration VH-BLH cancelled 19.1.96 as "destroyed"

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


4. Photo of crash 27.3.69:
5. ATSB Summary of the acicdent:
6. ATSB Full Report of the accident:
7. Tiger Moth VH-AZP at Moorabbin, Melbourne, Victoria (YMMB) circa.1954:

Revision history:

15-Apr-2018 06:28 Pineapple Added
22-Jan-2022 19:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative, Category]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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