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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 213887
Last updated: 29 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic LA4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer
Owner/operator:Air Whitsunday
Registration: VH-ETY
MSN: 529
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bauer Bay, Molle Island, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Molle Island, QLD
Destination airport:Hook Reef, QLD
Investigating agency: BASI
The wind was from the south-east at about 10 knots and the water take-off of the amphibious aircraft was planned from Bauer Bay, a wide curving bay situated on the northern side of Molle Island. The surface of the water was reasonably calm along the sheltered area close to the shore but there was an uneven 'lumpy' swell on the more exposed areas of the Bay and beyond Deedes Point which is located at the north-eastern corner of the Island. A landing jetty extends from the resort beach on the northern coast and, in order to utilize the longest possible run over relatively calm water, a takeoff to the north-east commencing from a position near the beach and adjacent to the jetty would have been necessary.

The pilot decided, after consultation with the pilot of another aircraft preparing to depart, to take off towards the north-east and he commenced the takeoff from a position some 100 metres to the east of the seaward end of the jetty. The initial part of the takeoff run was apparently normal and as the aircraft moved into rougher water it bumped several times before becoming airborne at a low speed to a height of some ten feet. The speed of the aircraft did not increase significantly and it settled back to the water, striking the water heavily and then bouncing back into the air. When it again struck the water heavily and bounced the pilot closed the throttle and abandoned the takeoff. Several further bounces occurred before the aircraft came to rest. As the aircraft was turned to taxi back to sheltered water it became apparent that it was filling with water as a result of impact damage to the hull. It eventually sank and the occupants were rescued by a launch and the other amphibious aircraft.


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


Photo of VH-ETY courtesy

Avalon (YMAV / AVV)
23 March 2007; (c) Andrei Bezmylov

Revision history:

31-Jul-2018 12:16 Pineapple Added

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