ASN Aircraft accident Britten-Norman BN-2A-21 Islander VH-WQA Moa Island, Torres Strait
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 3 October 2022
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A-21 Islander
Operator:Torres Strait Air
Registration: VH-WQA
MSN: 494
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:14081
Engines: 2 Lycoming IO-540-K1B5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Moa Island, Torres Strait (   Australia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Saibai Island Airport, QLD (SBR/YSII), Australia
Destination airport:Horn Island Airport, QLD (HID/YHID), Australia
A Britten-Norman BN-2A-21 Islander, VH-WQA, was damaged in an emergency landing on Moa Island, Torres Strait.
The pilot and six passengers were not injured.
The aircraft operated on school charter flight from Saibai Island to Horn Island in the Torres Strait. While en route both engines began to surge and loose power. The pilot diverted the aircraft towards Kubin Airport, on Moa Island, and conducted a forced landing east of the airport.
The aircraft was substantially damaged, with the tail separating from the fuselage during the landing.

Probable Cause:

Contributing factors: The engine power loss was likely the result of fuel starvation.
Other factors that increased risk:
- The pilot did not use the aircraft’s wing tip tanks in accordance with the flight manual. In addition to aircraft structural considerations, this also increased the likelihood of an inadvertent inappropriate fuel tank selection.
- For Britten-Norman Islander aircraft fitted with wing tip tanks, but without the alternative pilot interface per service letter number SL145, the configuration and location of the fuel controls and tank quantity gauges were probably not conducive to rapid and accurate interpretation.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: ATSB (Australia)
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: AO-2022-046
Download report: Final report

Fuel starvation
All engine powerloss
Forced landing outside airport



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Saibai Island Airport, QLD to Horn Island Airport, QLD as the crow flies is 139 km (87 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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