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Preliminary

Summary

Preliminary report released 8 May 2007

On 23 February 2007, at approximately 1710 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Van's Aircraft Inc. RV-4 aircraft, registered VH-ZGH, took off from Essendon Airport, Victoria, with the owner-pilot and one passenger on board. The flight was to the designated Moorabbin aerobatic area over Clyde North.
At approximately 1740, witnesses reported observing the aircraft descending in a spin after completing an aerobatic manoeuvre. The aircraft engine was heard to gain power during the spin and the aircraft speed rapidly increased. The aircraft was then seen to enter into, what appeared to be, an unstable spiral dive.
At approximately 1,500 ft above the ground, witnesses reported that the engine noise was very high-pitched and loud, and objects were seen to separate from the aircraft. The rapid spiral descent continued and the aircraft was observed to impact the ground almost vertically. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

 
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