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The pilot was flying a right hand circuit for Runway 35 at a height of about 500 feet above ground level. The aircraft was observed at a base turn position to suddenly bank about 30 degrees to the right, and then to adopt a nose low attitude and begin rotating to the right. This rotation continued until the aircraft struck the ground. No fault was subsequently found with the aircraft which might have contributed to the accident. The pilot reported that he had reduced engine power on the downwind leg because the aircraft speed was too high. He recalled that after the aircraft began rotating he had pulled the control column backwards, in an attempt to raise the nose of the aircraft and recover to normal flight, but this had no effect. The behaviour of the aircraft immediately prior to impact was consistent with with its speed decreasing to the point where the wing(s) stalled and the aircraft entered a spin to the right. The pilot had completed an aerobatic endorsement (including spin entry and recovery) on the aircraft type some five months before the accident. However, he reportedly had only four opportunities to practice spin recovery since then. The attempt by the pilot to recover from the spin by moving the control stick backwards was incorrect and was probably a spontaneous action on his part triggered by the sudden onset of the spin and the low height above ground level at which it occurred.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 20 November 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1510  
Location:2km SE of Coldstream Airfield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 12 June 1990 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: DH-82 
Aircraft registration: VH-LJM 
Serial number: 996 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Coldstream VIC
Departure time:1430
Destination:Coldstream VIC
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