ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 345644
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Narrative:On 15 February 2022, two aero club members hired an aircraft to conduct a local private flight. The PIC decided to
|Tuesday 15 February 2022
|Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
|Mt Whitcombe -
| En route
| Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
deviate from the original intended flight and venture into the mountains. The weather was reported as being clear skies and low winds. The PIC reported that they were tracking to Whitcombe Pass with the intention of crossing the Pass.
As they tracked towards it, the aircraft entered an area of downdraught. The PIC decided to conduct a turn with the
intention of gaining sufficient altitude to enable them to cross the Pass. However, during the turn, the aircraft impacted terrain, coming to rest on the Ramsay Glacier. The aircraft sustained significant damage and the pilots received minor to moderate injuries. They were able to activate a personal locator beacon and make emergency radio calls. The pilots were located by a helicopter pilot working in the area and were subsequently transported by rescue helicopter to hospital.
The investigation identified:
• preflight planning did not include considerations for flight in mountainous terrain, as there had originally been no
intention to go there
• the PIC did not actively consider the wind patterns in mountainous terrain that may adversely affect an aircraft
• the PIC did not have any recent experience in the mountains
• the PIC was not legally current at the time of the accident.
The pilot acting as passenger stated that they had no awareness of the proximity of the aircraft to terrain and was shocked when they hit the glacier, believing they had been higher above terrain. The passenger wondered if they had suffered from a ‘white-out’ type of illusion. The PIC did not feel they had suffered from this. However, this may explain why the pilot passenger did not take any action to alert the PIC to the proximity to terrain.
Lack of currency at the time of the accident likely led to the pilot not effectively considering the mountainous environment and the challenges this can present, and resulted in reduced capacity for effective decision-making.
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