Home > Free Essays > Tech & Engineering > Accidents & Protection > Lockhart River Plane Crash
10 min
Cite This

Lockhart River Plane Crash Report



Even, though, plane accidents are uncommon they habitually result into baffling catastrophes. This is accredited to the increased numbers of individuals on board and wiry probabilities of endurance. Prior researches point out that roughly 90% fatal cases arise from the accidents furthermore; passengers’ plane crashes typically affect persons on the ground (Coppola 82).

A falling plane may thrust into a structure, a metropolis or rupture into the fire which thus affects many people. Airline incidents have been blamed on inapt weather leading to diminished vicinity and human errors including carelessness and physiological disorders. Other causes include motorized failures especially the engine due to pitiable servicing processes.

A sole plane crash of immense significance was illustrated at Lockhart River, while moving towards the airport on May 7, 2005 (Barnes 3). A frightening catastrophe thus incorporated a Fairchild metro, 23 aircraft, this happened at 11.43am. The mishap lead to the loss of close to fifteen lives in a jagged up terrain. It is further noted that this occurred a few miles from the Airport best referred to as the Iron Range.

The concerned plane was heading towards a place known as Carins, from Bamaga; however, it was to make a halt at the mentioned airport. It is equally notable that the 19 seater Metroliner had crew members that totaled to two; furthermore close to 15 passengers were on board, thus including 12 men and 3 women. In the end, the spoils were revealed lying on a hillside roughly 11 km from the river (Lockhart).

Preface examination indicated that the facts recorder, cockpit, did not document any information for the air travel or flight. It is central to mention that the release and rescue teams held responsible the cruel weather conditions for effectual reply services. The scene was characterized by heavy clouds and grave raindrops that contributed to the occurrence of the accident.

It is further affirmed that clouds hanging at about a 1000 feet above the airdrome were hazardous for the plane because of the increased presence of vicinity issues. Another issue of concern is the ruggedness, which complicated the situation thus rendering it inaccessible to the calamity team.

This situation could even exacerbate the situation because of the impact arising that may be caused by the rocky places. It is further indicated that the pilot did not conform to the required routes as illustrated by the certified set of laws of the airline itineraries.

The report consequently indicates that the copilot had not received approval to put into practice runway operations prior to the plane taking off. It is also indicated that both descent and approach speeds that ought to have typified operations in the plane were not followed by the crew and team. It is crucial to affirm that the TransAir authorities were thus to blame since they failed to scrutinize the pilot’s conformity with the air guidelines.

Lockhart River Plane Crash.

(Picture indicating the scene of the accident)

Even, though, the cause for the accident lies with the deceased pilot, it is apparent from the retrospective examinations that the administration, pilot and copilot should be held culpable for occurrence of the catastrophe. The aptitude of the plane crew analyzing the plane was in doubt since they lacked approvals from knowledgeable pilots.

“The certifications of the TransAir were inconsistent with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority” (Barnes 3). It is also reinstated that failure of the cockpit to document any information indicates that the plane was deficient, further exemplifying the motorized and methodological problems. The concerned authorities were not able to establish the problem and apply apposite measures.

Issues Arising

Plant and Equipment

It is noted that the plane had apparatus failures like the incapability of the cockpit to document and verify information. This further highlights the concept that that the plane had motorized setbacks which went unobserved (ASN). Consequently, it is realized that the devise features of the Jeppesen instrument, which serves critical roles that entailed detection of approach chats had several limitations and failures. Its incapability to provide clear and valid charts led to the lessening of watchfulness and confusion.

The report outlines that the apparatus responsible for viewing the process did not identify issues associated with the ecological terrain. It is equally mentioned that the Jeppesen instrument did not depict the procedures for changing the gradient but only recognized the contours that were white in color. Regarding the plant issues, it is specified that the plane crashed on a rugged terrain, a factor that contributed to the writing off of the airline since the repair process would have been futile.

The incompetent co-pilot could not save the situation because of the unawareness of the technical issues which were unfolding. He had pilot formal training requirements to carry out his duties effectively. The crew on board did a lot of work for the period of the approach and this must have vanished situational understanding of the plane’s position.

Physical environment

The Iron Range, the park where the crash occurred was heavily timbered thus increasing the impact of the fall (ASN). The region around Lockhart River is a thick forest and extremely ragged which increased the severity of the situation. The vegetation in the region reduced the visibility thus obscuring the vicinity for the pilot and the crew. It is further mentioned that dense vegetation usually attracts rainfall, hence reducing visibility.

The scenery of the accident made it difficult to attain easy access especially for the rescue team so that they can offer their services in apt time. This eventually made it difficult for the catastrophe and examination team to locate the wreckage within the stipulated time. It is further clarified that delays caused by the ruggedness or the region contributed to increased death since people did not receive the crucial care.

People and skills

The crew team started initiating airport landing strip approach with the full knowledge that the co-pilot was not capable of conducting such mechanism approach. Issues pertaining to skills are also recognized when the pilot neglected to conform to issues pertaining to recommended descending speed limits, consequently descending at escalated speeds.

Furthermore, there was ignorance of the section’s lowest harmless height drop thus propagating the crashing of the plane. It is thus certain that the plane was directed into the terrain by the pilot due to increased negligence of the rules. In the end, the passengers could not live on due to the severity of the impact. This concept is further emphasized, upon analysis of the wreckage since centers of escape were blocked.

The travelers were confined in the crashed plane, this coupled with brutal ground impact culminated in their demise. The disaster team could not approach the scene easily due to the ruggedness of the area. This means that passengers who could have been easily rescued eventually died. It is also clear that the radar squad did not continuously observe the position of the plane; furthermore, it was fathomed minutes later that the plane was absent (Barnes 21)

Systems and Methods

The cause of the catastrophe is accredited to the disregard of the system guidelines by the pilot. Other concepts include the presence of non functional instruments and diminished experience amongst the personnel. It is worth mentioning that the pilot could have comprehended clear indications by this instrument and taken apposite actions.

It is common knowledge in the aviation industry that descent at high speed could not allow for safe landing. This is because it would eventually culminate in system technicalities. It is thus crucial to determine why the pilot disobeyed the rules and descended quickly prompting the plane to lose control. In the end, it plunged into the dense forest. The co-driver could have used other methods of controlling the plane if he was experienced (Pritchard & Leavitt 14)

Timeline of Events

Table 1: Events from the departure to the time of crashing

08:30 09:50 09:58 10:39 11:07 11:32 11: 35. 11:39 11:41. 11:43
Departure at Cairns Engine switched off at Lockhart River Departure at

Lockhart River

Arrival at


Departure from


Commencing descent. Copilot estimates arrival time Crew conduct runway approach Plane reached a fix descent The plane crushed

Post incidence responses

Table 2: Timeline from the detection of the missing plane to the recovery of human remains

11:40 12:05 12:30 12:32- 16:00 16:30 Day 2 Day 5
Mr. Peter Friel heard radio call about a nearing plane. Mr. peter assumed that the plane passed due to weather conditions Mr. Peter contacts Aero-tropics why they decided to pass. Communications went on to ascertain the whereabouts of the plane The site of crash identified Recovery of human remains begins Recovery completed

Table 3: outlines the organizations and people involved in the actual incident and participation

Organizations and people involver 15 passengers 2 The crew government Air control point The rescue/recovery team Air companies
The type of organizations and people involved All passengers




-Captain Brett Hotchin

-Copilot Timothy Down

– police


-ministry of transport

– transport safety bureau

-Lockhart River airport

-Mr. Peter

-The Queensland Police Service Disaster Victim Identification Squad.

– Tonge centre Captain




Parties in the sphere

Even though, no single life was saved several parties were involved in the Lockhart plane crash to bring things back to normalcy. The man at the control point, Mr. Peter, played a very vital role in detection of the missing plane.

It is clear that his contact with the Air-tropics led to the comprehension that Fairchild airplane went missing. All other officials at the airport acted swiftly to make certain that the crash point is identified almost immediately after the incident. The two air companies, TransAir and Air-tropics, were exclusively liable for the accident.

They took part in locating the crash spot and giving all-purpose information about the plane and the crew. Various administration officials like the police division and the ministry of transport took the first move to set contact strategies to gather information relating to the calamity (Barnes 5). The police and other government sectors assisted in the initiation of prelude investigations. The media was in the front in the spreading of information to the public on the proceedings of the incident.

It is noted that the disaster team played a very crucial role during the catastrophe aftermath. They assisted in the removal of the human remains, consequently, they aided in the constructive classification of the victims. More so, the medics at the Tonge centre helped in the final positive recognition of the crash victims (Barnes 23).

It was therefore, possible for the relatives of the victims to obtain their true members. It is also believed that the captain and the copilot applied their methodological experiences to evade the accident, but this is not known because they perished together with the passengers. It is also imperative to distinguish the roles of the general public because they are the users of the airplanes. All the interventions after the incident and avoidance of future accidents are aimed at satisfying the public needs.

Hierarchy of control

Elimination is accredited as one of the most suitable and recognized methods since they do not depend solely on people for its execution and sustainability whilst controlling accidents. Risk exclusion is considered the most sensible means of preventing hazards from causing ruthless effects to human beings and machinery (Ferrett & Hughes 105). The airline authorities could have eliminated the out of order equipments like the cockpit and Jeppesen among others.

These paraphernalia required thorough fixing and maintenance so as to serve their functions. Non functional paraphernalia need to be eliminated in the arrangement so as to avoid future happenings. The exclusion of the incompetent copilot who could not assist in saving the situation could have reduced the impact on the accident. Personnel, who are unable to meet the training requirements, consequently can not perform their duties effectively.

This is the next level of hierarchy of control which involves the substitution of the dangerous constituents by less hazardous so as to reduce the shock of the risk (Ferrett, Hughes 105). The faulty machines like the Jeppesen need to be replaced with effective equipment capable of giving apparent guidelines and situational attentiveness.

The accident was blamed on this equipment; hence similar gadgets should be eliminated with effective ones to deter future accidents. It could not read clear contours for the pilot thus prompting him to lose focus. An effective replica of cockpit which is able to record the required information is necessary in other planes.

Engineering is the third level of hazard management which involves the upgrading of existing appliances to dissuade future accidents (Ignacio& Bullock 250). This involves enhancing the efficacy of the equipment to reduce the catastrophes in the future. Moves to install habitual controls can help the pilot avoid hazardous areas like the forested and cloudy areas. The planes should be controlled robotically at the disappearance and approaching ports, since this helps in recognizing looming accidents at untimely hours.

The next level of control is administration which involves ample training of the personnel. The plane crew and the pilots must undertake all the required schooling for their jobs. It is indicated that the co-pilot of the luckless plane did not undergo the formal training required for his duties. It is the liability of the administration to ensure all the employees meet their minimum qualifications to execute their duties.

Training and instruction alone does not ensure protection but the employees should adhere to the set stipulations. “The pilot commanding the plane disobeyed the rules by descending at a faster rate than the required speed thus losing control” (Coppola 82). It is also specified that the crew were overwhelmed by the work, meaning that the administration had less employees on board. This should be ensured so that the crew do satisfactory work, and to the required standards.

The last step in the control of accidents is the use of individual protective equipment (Ignacio & Bullock 251). This is considered last in the chain of command because it does not manage the accident but reduces the brutality of the impact after the exposure or accident. The planes belonging to this company need to be fitted with protective devices like parachutes which passengers and the crew can use when accident strikes.

It is noted that no single person on board used a parachute to get out of the crashing plane. Furthermore, the fitted safety jackets and parachutes should be easily accessible by all the passengers in case of accident. The passengers should be inducted on the straightforward guidelines of using the paraphernalia for them to be well acquainted with the devices. The crew should be at the forefront in ensuring that all passengers get these services.

Best solutions for the long and short terms

The airline company should apply apposite long and short term elucidation in the future. The best long term answer to analogous accidents is the eradication of faulty gadgets and replaced with new ones. Equipment like the Jeppesen should be eliminated and fixed with novel permitted gears so as to avert future failures.

The incapable personnel should be eliminated and get replaced with competent workers who are able to execute the required duties. The short term approach to the problem is the issuance of shielding devices to the crew and passengers, which will help in the reduction of accident impact. The planes should be well fitted with safety belts and other associated appliances to be used by the people on board in cases of tragedy.

Making changes

It is noted that the administration in collaboration with the government should be responsible for the changes. The government should offer decision-making and dogmatic measures to ensure that all the necessities are installed in the airplanes. It is essential for the state to get involved, since it is charged with the liability of safeguarding the lives of its people. The financiers and other donors are also involved in the achievement of the long term solutions since fiscal matters are involved in such executions.

The admin should be at the fore front to ensure that long-term solutions are implemented. In particular, the management should provide strategy and headship in the abolition of faulty equipment and other policy changes (Kanki, Helmreich & Anca 10). It should be able to give solutions to methodological matters during the creation of the blueprint and implementation of the proposed solutions.

Short term changes should be initiated by the administration and implemented by the passengers and other staff on board. The administration should seek advice from experts like the Red Crescent to give guidelines on the finest safety measures to employ (Pritchard & Leavitt 14). It should make certain that protection measures and devices are well fitted in the plane. The association should ensure that safety belts, parachutes and other protection devices are reachable to the passengers (United States Air Force 155).

It is imperative to note that the passengers get enough training and sensitization on the application and usage of the safety gadgets. It is decisive to note that every personality has a duty to safeguard his or her life. The state should also get involved in creating the changes by ensuring all safety apparatus are well installed in the plane. It can do this through presenting supervisory services to the airline companies.

Works Cited

Aviation Safety Network (ASN). Accident description, 2005. Web.

Barnes, Michael. Inquest into the Aircraft Crash at Lockhart River. 17 August 2007. Web.

Hughes, Phil & Ferrett, Ed. Introduction to Health and Safety at Work. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, 2009. Print.

Ignacio, Joselito. & Bullock William. A Strategy for Assessing and Managing Occupational Exposures, 3rd. Prosperity Avenue: AIAH, 2006. Print.

Kanki, Barbara. Helmreich, Robert. & Anca, Jose. Crew Resource Management. California: Academic Press, 2010. Print.

Pritchard, Kevin. & Leavitt, Amie. Anatomy of a Plane Crash. Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2010. Print.

United States Air Force. B-29 Airplane Commander Training Manual. North Carolina; Lulu.com.2008. Print.

This report on Lockhart River Plane Crash was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Report sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper

Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, April 5). Lockhart River Plane Crash. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/lockhart-river-plane-crash/

Work Cited

"Lockhart River Plane Crash." IvyPanda, 5 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/lockhart-river-plane-crash/.

1. IvyPanda. "Lockhart River Plane Crash." April 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lockhart-river-plane-crash/.


IvyPanda. "Lockhart River Plane Crash." April 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lockhart-river-plane-crash/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Lockhart River Plane Crash." April 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lockhart-river-plane-crash/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Lockhart River Plane Crash'. 5 April.

More related papers
Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!