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Summary

Summary

On 1 December 2007, a Cessna 172 aircraft and an Avid Flyer collided in midair while conducting circuit operations at Latrobe Valley Aerodrome, Victoria. The Cessna was being flown by a student pilot who was conducting a series of solo circuits and the Avid was being flown by an experienced pilot. The Cessna collided with the Avid from above and behind after both aircraft had turned onto the final leg of the circuit. The Avid descended uncontrolled and impacted the ground. The pilot was fatally injured. Although the Cessna sustained damage from the collision, the student pilot was able to land the aircraft.

The investigation revealed that the student pilot was unaware of the Avid's presence before turning onto final, even though both aircraft had been in the circuit for some time prior to the collision. Whereas there was no evidence that the common traffic advisory frequency procedures at the aerodrome were a factor in the occurrence, a radio broadcast that was made prior to the collision possibly contributed to the student becoming unaware of the position of the Avid.

The investigation also identified a safety issue in regard to the guidance contained in the flying school's operations manual. The flying school reported that, as a result of this accident, it has amended its operations manual to include guidance on competency-based training and risk management strategies for application to solo student flight operations. In addition, the flying school has implemented an electronic, competency-based training system and provided training on its use to the school instructors and students.

 
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