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Summary

Summary

Prior to taxying the pilot had checked the all-up-weight of the aircraft and had performed a thorough pre-flight inspection. The take-off and initial climb appeared to be normal, however when the aircraft had reached a height of about 200 feet there was evidently a loss of performance and no further height was gained. In response to queries from the Control Tower, the pilot indicated that he was returning for landing. During a subsequent turn, control of the aircraft was lost. The left wing dropped sharply and the aircraft entered a near vertical descent, subsequently colliding with a large tree before impacting the ground. A fierce fire broke out and consumed the wreckage. The subsequent investigation was hampered by the extent of the fire damage. It was established that the engine had been subjected to abnormally high operating temperatures, but whether this had occurred immediately before the accident or at some previous time, could not be determined. No other defect was found which might have contributed to the apparent loss of performance and the reason for such loss remains undetermined. The pilot was relatively inexperienced, both in total hours and on the aircraft type. While endeavouring to manoeuvre the aircraft for a return to the aerodrome, he had apparently not realised that the airspeed was decaying, and the aircraft subsequently stalled at a height which was insufficient to allow recovery before impact with the ground.

 
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