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On 2 September 2011, a Howard Hughes Engineering Lightwing SP-2000 aircraft, registered 24-5040, was being operated on a private flight with the pilot and one passenger on-board. While operating to the north of Sydney Harbour, witnesses observed the aircraft descend and impact the water adjacent to the North Curl Curl shoreline. The aircraft was destroyed by the forces of the collision and one of the two occupants was fatally injured.

Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) is assisting the New South Wales Police Service with their investigation of this occurrence. Following recovery of the aircraft wreckage, RA-Aus officers requested assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the recovery of data from some of the aircraft's electronic instrumentation systems and portable navigation devices. To facilitate this work, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

In summary, four devices in total were examined by the ATSB. Raw data was successfully recovered from a portable GPS navigation unit and a fuel monitoring instrument, however ATSB analysis showed that neither data set contained usable information that was relevant to the accident flight. The data from both units was provided to RA-Aus on 26 October 2011 and the instrumentation returned on 2 April 2012.



Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

General details
Date: 02 September 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1015 EST Investigation type: External Investigation 
Location   (show map):North Curl Curl Occurrence type:Collision with terrain 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 24 April 2012 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Howard Hughes Engineering P/L 
Aircraft model: SP-2000 
Aircraft registration: 24-5040 
Type of operation: Unknown 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Ballina, NSW
Destination:Wedderburn, NSW
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Last update 01 March 2016