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The ATSB's on-site investigation into the 5 October 2006 fatal accident involving a BAC-167 Strikemaster jet, NE of Bathurst, NSW, is continuing. Access to the accident site has been hampered by the presence of a large bushfire, which is currently being fought by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's on-site investigation team has reported that the aircraft wreckage trail extends more than 1 kilometre. Team members have been able to access some of the aircraft wreckage during a period of limited access to the accident site over the last 2 days. During that time, the team located and examined the aircraft's right wing and reported that the wing had separated from the aircraft fuselage in-flight.

At this stage, the ATSB does not know where in the wreckage trail sequence the wing is located, or the reason for the separation.

ATSB investigators will continue their work at the accident site over the coming days, subject to gaining safe access. Investigators have also been accessing the operator's aircraft maintenance and operational documentation. A preliminary factual report will be issued in about 30 days.

Witnesses are asked to call the ATSB on 1800 020 616.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011