Carcoar plane crash report finds no preexisting faults or failures with aircraft

REPORT: An investigation into a fatal plane crash at Carcoar, south of Orange, in November has released its initial findings. Photo: ATSB
REPORT: An investigation into a fatal plane crash at Carcoar, south of Orange, in November has released its initial findings. Photo: ATSB

On-site examination of the aircraft's flight controls, engine and structure did not identify any preexisting faults or failures.

ATSB Acting Director Transport Safety Kerri Hughes

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will analyse data from pilots' personal electronic devices and evaluate witness information after initial investigations into the fatal plane crash near Carcoar in November didn't identify any faults or failures with the training aircraft.

The ATSB released its initial findings into the accident, south of Orange on November 4, on Tuesday, the report detailing the moments of the check flight prior to the student undertaking a commercial pilot licence flight test.

The ATSB has found the aircraft collided with the bank of a small dam, located on rising terrain about 600 metres beyond the end of the runway after departing a private airstrip at the Coombing Park property, which is located near Carcoar.

ATSB Acting Director Transport Safety Kerri Hughes said the aircraft wreckage has thoroughly been examined and witnesses interviewed.

"On-site examination of the aircraft's flight controls, engine and structure did not identify any preexisting faults or failures," she said.

"In addition, evidence of fuel spillage at the accident site indicated that the aircraft had fuel onboard, while the presence of fuel in the fuel filters indicated the engine had fuel supply at the time of the accident."

The investigation update also notes the recorded weather at nearby Orange Airport.

The report says at the time of the accident on November 4, 2020 the visibility in the area was greater than 10 kilometres and there was no cloud detected, while an 11 knot wind was recorded from the west.

Ms Hughes noted the progress update does not include any safety findings or analysis, which will be detailed in the investigation's final report.

"As well as analysis of electronic data from the pilot's personal electronic devices and considering witness information, the ATSB will also examine a number of recovered aircraft components and analyse the aircraft's maintenance history, weight and balance, and performance," she said.

"The ATSB will also examine flight planning for the accident flight; the operator's policies and procedures; and review pilot qualifications, experience and medical information."

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

"However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken," Ms Hughes noted.

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