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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 723
Last updated: 29 March 2019
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Time:17:39 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PTS2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pitts S-2A
Registration: VH-IXY
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Gatton, Queensland -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Gatton, Queensland
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: BASI
On the morning of 8 April, the pilot flew the aircraft from Archerfield to Gatton to practise aerobatics. That afternoon he carried out two flights during which he performed an aerobatic sequence known as a "free program", which is a sequence of manoeuvres designed by the pilot to meet certain criteria.

The following morning, the pilot carried out a check flight with an instructor to obtain approval in accordance with Civil Aviation Regulation 155(3), to conduct aerobatics down to a minimum height of 1,500 ft above ground level. The minimum height for aerobatics is 3,000 ft above ground level unless this approval is obtained.

At about 17:30 EST on April 9, the pilot took off to practice the "free program" sequence again. He was in radio communication with his brother, a highly experienced pilot and flying instructor. The pilot had said that he would increase the base height for the sequence as an added safety margin.

The sequence was commenced and proceeded normally and the manoeuvre which had previously caused the problem was performed with what appeared to be the suggested modifications. However, shortly after recovery to the straight and level attitude from the downward half-loop, the nose of the aircraft pitched rapidly to 10 degrees nose-up and the aircraft began to diverge slowly to the right with the nose continuing to rise slowly. The aircraft then commenced a continuous roll to the left.

During this time, the ground observer made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the pilot by radio. The nose of the aircraft dropped and the aircraft dived almost vertically into the ground from a height estimated by witnesses as 2,000-2,500 ft


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
20-Dec-2011 11:53 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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