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The pilot and his passenger were conducting a private flight in the pilot's Jabiru aircraft in the Southport area. Several other pilots heard the pilot advise over the radio that he was conducting a simulated engine failure and glide approach. The aircraft subsequently impacted a steep embankment short of runway 19 at Southport aerodrome and on the extended runway centreline. The embankment was approximately 2 m high, about 210 m from the displaced approach threshold and 30 m short of the sealed runway surface. Both occupants sustained fatal injuries.

An examination of the wreckage indicated that the aircraft had impacted the embankment in a moderately nose-high, left wing-low attitude. Damage to the propeller indicated that the engine was delivering significant power at the time of impact. There were no known flight control deficiencies and the evidence indicated that the aircraft was capable of normal flight prior to the accident.

Local procedures required that pilots conduct right circuits when operating on runway 19. Tall trees adjacent to the aerodrome induced localised mechanical turbulence, windshear and downdrafts when the wind was from the southeast. At the time of the accident, the wind was recorded on the Gold Coast Seaway as 150 degrees at 15 kts, gusting to 18 kts.

It is likely that the aircraft entered an area of turbulence and high sink rate generated by the prevailing wind over the adjacent trees. Given the evidence of significant power at the time of impact, it is possible that the pilot had initiated a go around at a stage in the approach from which it was not possible to establish a positive rate of climb.

General details
Date: 29 September 2001 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0955 hours EST  
Location   (show map):Southport, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 04 December 2001 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Avtech Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: ST3 
Aircraft registration: VH-XLX 
Serial number: ST 0011 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Southport, QLD
Departure time:0925 hours EST
Destination:Southport, QLD
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Fatal: 1102
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Last update 13 May 2014