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Analysis

Summary

The aircraft which was seen or heard by witnesses minutes before the accident was probably UNH.

The fuel on board UNH was more than adequate for the flight.

Weather reports by witnesses confirm that non VMC existed near Woodend and over the Mount Macedon feature to an altitude of about 4,500 ft AMSL

It is probable that the pilot of UNH flew from Kyneton into worsening weather conditions near Woodend while trying to find a visual route to Moorabbin. When he realised that he could no longer track 160 deg due to cloud, he turned towards the north east because he recalled how sunny it was to the north east when passing Kyneton. He probably left his decision to turn away from bad weather too late and encountered cloud before or in the turn. The difference in elevation between the aircraft reportedly flying low near Woodend and the accident site strongly suggests that the pilot controlled the aircraft while climbing in cloud. He was probably aware of the general location of Mount Macedon and probably tried to out-climb the feature. The last recorded groundspeed of 77 kts was appropriate for a climb speed.

 
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