Plane carrying seven crashes into Indian Ocean after it overshot runway

Gippsland GA8 Airvan
Rweisswald /

A single-engine plane with a pilot and six passengers on board crashed into the Indian Ocean after it overshot the runway in Australia.  

Fortunately, none of those travelling in the Gippsland GA8 Airvan were injured in the incident at around 8.40am on April 6, 2023.  

According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) the aircraft “landed long” on the runway located on Rat Island, off the coast of Western Australia.  

Officials confirmed that the GA8 Airvan exited the runway and “came to rest in the water” causing “substantial damage” to the aircraft.  

ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt reported that a “number” of the passengers on the plane were children.  

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into a runway excursion involving a single-engine passenger aircraft with a pilot and six passengers on board at Rat Island, Western Australia, on Thursday morning,” ATSB chief commissioner Angus Mitchell advised. 

He added: “ATSB investigators will collect and examine relevant evidence, including interviewing the pilot, analysing relevant weather data, photographs, aircraft operator procedures and maintenance records.”   

Shine Aviation owner John Gooch confirmed his aircraft was involved in the incident, according to ABC. 

The ATSB announced it will publish a final report, detailing contributing factors and any identified safety issues, at the conclusion of the investigation.   

“Should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken,” Mitchell said. 

Rat Island lies around 80 kilometers from mainland Australia and is part of the Abrolhos Islands.   

According to information available online there is one runway on Rat Island.  

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