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Analysis

Summary

The available evidence indicates that the aircraft arrived in the area of the mine later than planned, but not having encountered any difficulties. When flying over the mine the pilot was probably flying with reference to the ground lighting and then the runway lighting. By flying to the right of the runway lights he would have been in a good position to examine the wind sock in order to decide which direction to make a landing and to determine the wind velocity.

Having made this assessment, it is likely that he then commenced a right turn to track from the runway to join on the down wind leg for a landing toward the south-east. The impact location and direction are consistent with such a manoeuvre. As the pilot commenced the turn, he would have lost visual reference with the runway and other lights. This would have required him to fly the aircraft solely with reference to the cockpit instruments. The attitude of the aircraft at impact indicated that he did not maintain control of the aircraft sufficiently to prevent it entering a steep descending turn.

 
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