Sunday, February 7, 2016

de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10, VH-UPD: Accident occurred June 29, 2014 near Coffs Harbour Airport, New South Wales, Australia

The pilot of a light plane that crashed in Coffs Harbour last year unsuccessfully tried to do an aerobatic manoeuvre, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found.

The ATSB report said the crash happened during a brief, private flight over the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport on the morning of June 29, 2014.

The two-seater de Havilland Chipmunk stalled at the top of a loop, rolled, then spun out of control and crashed.

The pilot and single passenger were seriously injured.

Investigators could not find any record the pilot had trained for such a maneuver.

They also found flaws in the flying school's training material and instruction.

The ATSB report also said the flying school had now made changes to its aerobatics instruction.

Story and photo:

What happened:  

On the morning of 29 June 2014, the pilot of a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 T Mk 10 Chipmunk aircraft, registered VH-UPD, was taking a passenger for a brief, private flight over Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, New South Wales.

According to pilot and passenger reports, after conducting a series of aerobatic manoeuvres, the pilot climbed to about 3,800 ft and accelerated to about 85 kt. The pilot then made a short dive to build up speed to about 120 kt before commencing a loop.

At the top of the loop, the aircraft stalled while inverted, most likely as the result of excessive elevator input. The aircraft rolled and entered an upright spin, which became flatter as it developed. Later, the pilot reported that attempts to recover were unsuccessful. The spin continued until the aircraft impacted terrain. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was seriously damaged. There was no fire.

Accident report:

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