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The ATSB investigation into the fatal Piper Seneca accident on 11 November 2003, at Bankstown Airport has found that the aircraft banked right and speared into the ground during a go-around manoeuvre.

The aircraft was being operated on a multi-engine endorsement training flight with an instructor and student on board.

The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the post-impact fire. The student was fatally injured in the accident and the instructor received severe burns and died three and a half weeks after the accident.

The ATSB interim factual report finds that the engines were developing comparable levels of power and the propeller blade angles were consistent with the angle appropriate for the go-around phase of flight.

The investigation is continuing and will be clarifying some aspects with the aircraft manufacturer before finalising the draft report.

On 1 December 2003, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services signed an Instrument of Direction to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). That instrument directed the ATSB to `investigate the effectiveness of the fire fighting arrangements for Bankstown Airport, as they affected transport safety at Bankstown Airport on 11 November 2003'. That investigation was conducted in conjunction with the accident investigation and a separate report (200305496) is expected to be issued in the next couple of months.

The interim factual report (200304589) is available from the website, or from the Bureau on request.

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Last update 01 April 2011