2017 Sydney Seaplanes DHC-2 crash

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2017 Sydney Seaplanes DHC-2 crash
Sydney Seaplanes, 26th. Nov. 2010 - Flickr - PhillipC (1) (cropped).jpg
VH-NOO, the aircraft involved in the accident, in 2010
Date 31 December 2017 (2017-12-31)
Summary Crashed mid-flight, under investigation
Site Cowan Creek
Aircraft type de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
Operator Sydney Seaplanes
Registration VH-NOO
Flight origin Cottage Point, New South Wales
Destination Rose Bay Water Airport
Occupants 6
Passengers 5
Crew 1
Fatalities 6
Survivors 0

On 31 December 2017 at about 3:15 pm AEDT (UTC+11:00), a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver configured as a floatplane crashed into Jerusalem Bay off Cowan Creek,[1] on the northern outskirts of Sydney, Australia. The aircraft, operated by Sydney Seaplanes, was carrying five passengers and a pilot, all of whom were killed in the crash. It was returning diners from Cottage Point Inn restaurant to Rose Bay Water Airport.[2][3]


The aircraft was a 54-year old de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, originally built in 1963 and registered in Australia since February 1964; it was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine.[4]

In 1996, the aircraft was destroyed in a crash while working as a crop duster near Armidale, New South Wales, killing the pilot. The aircraft was then completely rebuilt; the Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed that it had been repaired according to industry requirements.[5]


The Canadian-Australian pilot[6] and five British tourists – Richard Cousins, 58, CEO of British foodservice company Compass Group, his two sons, his fiancée[7] and her daughter – were killed in the crash.[8][9]


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) opened an investigation into the accident. Most of the wreckage of the aircraft was raised on 4 January 2018.[10] The intermediate report, published on 31 January 2018, indicated that the aircraft was found to have followed a differing flight path from the usual, and had failed to climb to the necessary altitude needed to fly over the surrounding terrain. It also indicated that the preliminary examination of aircraft flight control surfaces and controls seemed in sound order and expected positions, and as well that the engine sounded normal to witnesses on the ground. The aircraft landed inverted and all six on board suffered fatal injuries. The investigation will continue with international assistance.[11]


  1. ^ Deutrom, Rhian (31 December 2017). "Seaplane crashes into Cowan Creek in NSW". theaustralian.com.au. News Corporation. Retrieved 31 December 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ "Search for survivors after seaplane crashes into Hawkesbury River". abc.net.au. 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ McInnes, William; Webber, Miriam (31 December 2017). "Sea plane crashes into Hawkesbury River in Sydney's north". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  4. ^ "VH-NOO registration details". FlightAware. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. ^ Begley, Patrick (4 January 2018). "Seaplane 'destroyed', rebuilt following previous fatal crash". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  6. ^ Lindsay, Bethany (1 January 2018). "'Deeply respected' pilot, originally from B.C., among 6 dead in Australia crash". cbc.ca. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Ex-Tory MP father of seaplane victim tells of his grief" p 13 Daily Telegraph Issue no 50,580 dated Wednesday 03 January 2018
  8. ^ "Sydney seaplane: Tributes paid to family killed in crash". BBC News. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Hawkesbury River seaplane: Catering giant CEO Richard Cousins and family killed in New Year's Eve crash". ABC News. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  10. ^ Clun, Rachel; Mitchell, Georgina; Begley, Patrick (4 January 2018). "Police raise seaplane wreckage from Hawkesbury River". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Collision with water involving a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft, VH-NOO, at Cowan Creek, NSW on 31 December 2017". Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Retrieved 2 January 2018.

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