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Analysis

Summary

The pilot obtained the correct weather forecasts for the flight. The investigation found no record of the pilot having updated his weather information during the flight. Consequently, although he expected a gradual deterioration of the weather he would not have had any warning of the more rapid deterioration, and greater severity of conditions.

It is likely the pilot only realised that the weather was significantly different from the forecast when he was tracking across the higher terrain south-east of Oberon. Due to his lack of exposure to similar weather, it is possible he delayed making a decision to divert until too late. Having flown into those conditions the pilot then found himself trapped between the ridges and the cloud base, unable to continue or turn back. His instrument flight skills would have been inadequate to attempt flight in cloud under those conditions. When the aircraft entered cloud the pilot was no longer able to rely on external visual references and probably became spatially disorientated. The aircraft subsequently entered a left turn, descended rapidly and collided with the ground. The accident was consistent with loss of control following flight in instrument meteorological conditions by a non-instrument rated pilot.

 
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