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Summary

Summary

The flight had been planned as a scenic tour of the snowfields near Cooma and two of the passengers had travelled a considerable distance to participate. The forecast ordered for the route indicated that the weather was unsatisfactory and the flight was postponed and a second forecast was then obtained. The pilot decided that the flight was possible under the Visual Flight Rules although the first part of the route would have to be flown above cloud. After taking off the aircraft climbed through a hole in the cloud and set course, climbing to 8, 000 feet on top of complete cloud cover. Shortly afterwards the pilot was advised by radio that a light aircraft in the area had reported 8/8 cloud, base 5,500 feet and the pilot elected to descend through the cloud although he held no instrument rating and had virtually no experience of instrument flying. With the aircraft still in cloud at 4,200 feet, the pilot turned back towards Wollongong and began to climb to regain visual flight. Before he was able to top the cloud, the instruments appeared to give some unexpected indications and the pilot lost control. Several violent manoeuvres then took place before control was regained and the climb resumed. Again the pilot was unable to maintain control and eventually the aircraft broke cloud just above heavy timber in conditions of very limited visibility. This situation left the pilot with a severely restricted choice of alternatives and the aircraft was subsequently flown into the tops of the trees and crashed to the ground 120 feet below.
 
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