Accident Reviews

The following articles were originally written for the magazine “Spotlight”, published by the Directorate Of Flying Safety – Air Force, a branch of the Royal Australian Air Force, and relate to RAAF accidents where the lives of the RAAF aircrew members were lost. They have been compiled from official reports and documents from actual RAAF investigations and appear at courtesy the Directorate Of Flying Safety – Air Force. As they have been compiled from such documents the conclusions reached should be considered as the official findings of the respective investigations.

The information appears here as it does in the original articles, although any text relating to diagrams has been omitted during the transcribing due to no photographs or diagrams being included here.

The articles were written to analyze the safety issues involved so that ADF pilots, aircrew and others in the respective technical fields may read them and learn from them. As such they may contain technical information that some people may not quite comprehend or fully understand.

As with any accident the primary objective is the rescuing of the crew, however when it is clear that there are no survivors the objective shifts to determining the cause of the accident and why. Experts are drawn from many fields to partake in the investigation, fields ranging from Pilots, doctors, and various aircraft technicians. Some will be directly involved with the investigation, studying the evidence on site. Others will study medical records of the aircrew involved or review the past history of the aircraft’s servicing records. This is not about laying the blame for such an accident on the aircrew. However it is meant to show the thoroughness of the investigation and the problems of the task facing them. Often, evidence from eyewitnesses will offering differing accounts of events and the task of the Investigator is to closely study them while studying the physical evidence. When examined the aircraft wreckage itself, or other physical evidence may provide an altogether different version of events.

And as with any investigation it takes time and must be performed carefully but thoroughly. The severity of the accident may also ensure a lengthy inquiry, although the cause of some accidents will never be known despite the best efforts of those experts involved in the investigation.

Flying has always been a adventure that carries certain risks and military flying is by far the most dangerous. When an accident occurs safety concerns are always raised and the resulting investigation ensure that these issues are addressed. Often they prompt changes to procedures to better ensure the future safety of aircrew and, in the end, it is hoped that the lives of ADF pilots, and the lives of other military pilots, have been saved as a result.

(Introduction written by Dean Norman)

  • Lincoln A73-11, 19th February 1948.
  • Lincoln A73-64, 9th April 1955.
  • Phantom A69-7203, near Evans Head 16th June 1971.
  • Roulette Mid-Air Accident with A7-046 and A7-093, 15th December 1983.
  • Sabre Mid-Air Collision with A94-355 and A94-356, 19th September 1964.
  • Sabre A94-937, 12th April 1960.
  • The Red Sales Accident, 15th August 1962.
  • Vampire A79-453 and A79-83, 13th May 1951.

  • "The ADF-Serials team give permission to use the content of this page, excluding images, providing that it contains an acknowledgement to the adf-serials team and any other listed sources."

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    Updated 8th June 2005