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The pilot had held a private pilot licence which expired in April 1972, and during June of that year he underwent and passed a renewal medical examination conducted by an approved aviation medical examiner. He did not, however, disclose that he was being treated by another medical practitioner for heart disease of a type which, in fact, precluded him from meeting the medical standards applicable to the holder of a pilot licence. His aircraft was undergoing repairs at that time and, because he had not acquired the recent flying experience required for the renewal of his private licence a student pilot licence was then issued to him. The holder of a student pilot licence is not authorised to pilot an aircraft unless he is accompanied by or is under the supervision of a rated flight instructor or an approved pilot. About a month prior to the accident the aircraft was returned to the pilot at the completion of repair work and he subsequently flew it on several occasions totaling about four hours. On the morning of the accident the weather was fine and the pilot declared his intention to make a flight. Accompanied by his two grandsons he proceeded to the field where his aircraft was hangared and supervised the actions of the two boys who pushed the aircraft from the hangar and topped up one of its two fuel tanks. He completed a pre-flight inspection during which he pulled the propeller through by hand several times and then boarded the aircraft alone. He started the engine and taxied the aircraft a short distance to the end of the landing strip where the engine was run for a short period. An apparently normal take-off was then made into a light wind and the aircraft climbed away to an estimated height of 100 feet. The aircraft banked into what appeared to be the commencement of a normal left hand turn but, as the turn continued, the wing progressively lowered further and the nose of the aircraft went down. The aircraft descended and struck the ground in a steep nose down attitude.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 153KB]
General details
Date: 31 December 1972 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0930 ESuT  
Location:Colac Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 18 September 1973 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Auster Aircraft Ltd 
Aircraft model: J5 
Aircraft registration: VH-FAM 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Yeodene
Departure time:0928
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Last update 13 May 2014