Cause of Fatal Plane Crash That Killed Father and Son Revealed

According to an exhaustive investigation, a stray powerline was the cause of a plane accident that killed a father and son.

Near their Merriton farm, 190km north of Adelaide, a Cessna 172N aircraft crashed at 4.15 pm on October 8, 2023, killing Ben Mumford, 50, and Charlie, 24.

Firefighters from the Country Fire Service and nearby farms put out the blaze that had begun in the jet after the accident and had already spread to the nearby meadow.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital received Mr. Mumford by airlift, but he subsequently passed away. At the scene, his son was declared dead.

According to a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Mr. Mumford was trying to land when his jet crashed into the ground and caught fire after colliding with a single-wire overhead powerline.

The accident risk was heightened due to the stray powerline’s location near the end of the runway, which was 8.5 meters above ground, according to the study.

According to ATSB chief commissioner Angus Mitchell, Mr. Mumford probably lost sight of the powerline when landing.

Upon snagging the powerline, Mr. Mumford’s jet plummeted to the earth and burst into flames caused by a fuel explosion.

According to the study, in order to avoid the line, the pilots would have had to try to land halfway down the 700m landing strip.

According to Mr. Mitchell, a marking had been put on a nearby pole to alert pilots of the invisible single line.

In addition, a powerline’s slanted position in relation to the runway increases the possibility of a wire strike if the pilot fails to accurately assess the point at which the plane would collide with the wire.

When it comes to low-level aircraft activities in South Australia, property owners can request that telecom and electricity firms place flags near potential hazards.

Mr. Mitchell said it is the responsibility of the rural property owners to inspect their airstrips for correctly designated cables.