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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 departed from controlled flight at a height from which recovery was not possible. The reason for the loss of control could not be determined.

The aircraft was being operated on a multi-engine aircraft training flight with a flight instructor and student pilot on board. After commencing a go-around, the aircraft was observed to diverge to the right of the runway centreline, climb and bank steeply to the right before impacting the ground in a steep nose-down attitude.

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.

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) was issued on 24 December 2004.

The final investigation report ( Aviation Safety Investigation Report 200304589) can be downloaded from the ATSB website.

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Last update 01 April 2011