Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper Seneca, VH-CTT, Bankstown Airport, 11 December 2003

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Accident sequence

On 11 November 2003, a Piper Seneca, registered VH-CTT, was seen to diverge right during a go around from runway 11 Right at Bankstown Airport, NSW. It maintained a constant height above the ground and; when about halfway along the runway, the aircraft's nose lifted and it banked steeply to the right before impacting the ground in a near vertical nose-down attitude. A student pilot in the left seat and an instructor pilot in the right seat were the only occupants.

A fire commenced when the aircraft impacted the ground or shortly after the impact. The fire intensified after the aircraft came to rest. The main cabin door, located over the right wing, separated from the aircraft during the accident. The instructor pilot vacated the aircraft through that opening about 30 seconds after the aircraft came to rest. The student pilot was fatally injured. The instructor pilot received severe burns and was treated in hospital for three and a half weeks before succumbing to those injuries.

Effectiveness of fire fighting services

On 1 December 2003, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services signed an Instrument of Direction to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). That instrument directed the ATSB to 'investigate the effectiveness of the fire fighting arrangements for Bankstown Airport, as they affected transport safety at Bankstown Airport on 11 November 2003'. Effectiveness is defined as 'serving to effect the purpose; producing the intended or expected result'.1 The instrument was issued to the ATSB on 15 December 2003.

1 Macquarie Dictionary (revised third edition), The Macquarie Library, NSW, 2003.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 148KB]
General details
Date: 11 November 2003   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1248 hours ESuT    
Location   (show map): Bankstown Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 24 December 2004   Occurrence category: Other  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer No Aircraft Involved  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 13 May 2014