This Day in History: 2015-03-20

Piper PA-25-235/A9 Pawnee VH-NLP operated by Western Aerial Crop Spraying & Spreading crashed at Hamilton Highway at Mortlake, Warrnambool,Victoria on 20 March 2015. The aircraft departed a private airstrip near Derrinallum in the morning to conduct insect baiting operations on a property near Darlington, Victoria. Shortly after commencing that task, the aircraft collided with terrain and was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The ATSB found that while positioning the aircraft for a baiting run, the pilot inadvertently descended below the normal application height over an adjacent paddock. While recovering from this loss of height and avoiding terrain, the aircraft probably stalled and entered an incipient spin at a height from which recovery was not possible before colliding with terrain. Source: ATSB