An unpleasant surprise today!

I headed off on Saturday morning for a day of SOTA fun in lovely spring weather.

I posted an Alert for the first summit only. The plan was to complete a circuit of the Thomson River Valley, picking up hopefully 5 8-point summits plus their winter bonus and perhaps finish with a 6-point summit to make 50 Activator points for the day. Lots of people had posted Alerts, so everyone was predicting a busy day of SOTA activity.

Plans did not quite eventuate. I had an incident with my vehicle mid-afternoon between summits 3 and 5, after having decided to abort an attempt to summit 4. The short story is that the vehicle had a failure which resulted in an engine fire that then engulfed the entire vehicle.

I managed to remove most of my gear from the car with no ill effects other than inhaling a little smoke.

You can read all about it on my blog:

Many thanks to Tony VK3CAT and the others who assisted from afar. Tony and I wound down after the excitement by activating Mt Useful - it is only a very short distance from the exit route from the area and abandoned the idea of the 6-point summit.


Peter VK3PF

Hi Peter, just read the story.

Sorry to hear about the excitment. I’m thinking battery. So what will the upgrade be? A nice new Subi?

FWIW I’m told that 2 small fire extinguishers in early are needed to stop an engine fire.


oooops. :scream:

Sorry to hear this has happened.

Over here a while ago they did a fire ex with a spike on it. Its been proven open the bonnet of the motor air reaches the fire and wooof. Whole idea is to puncture the bonnet and release the gas.with out adding extra ar to the fire. Been taught never open bonnet pop it and release the fire ex that way.

Long as your ok that all that matters.


Hi Karl,

All noted. The bonnet was opened by the firefighters after it was virtually all over. The location was remote and the crew arrived 2 hours after the incident started. By that time, there was just a little smouldering smoke and the burnt out vehicle! Within a few minutes of the engine failing and me pulling over, the entire engine bay was burning very happily. I simply kept clear after I had grabbed the gear I could from the car.

All is OK here - I simply need to think about replacing the vehicle.

Thanks for the thoughts.


Sorry to read about your day Peter hope you find a replacement SOTA mobile soon. And you always wish anyone activating a safe journey down so glad it turned out that way for you.
Vale the Sue be she served you well.
Ian vk5cz …

What a horror Peter and what a thing to happen. Glad you are ok and can get another automobile soon.

Cheers, Nick