Section 21 (2) of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (the Act) empowers the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to discontinue an investigation into a transport safety matter at any time. Section 21 (3) of the Act requires the ATSB to publish a statement setting out the reasons for discontinuing an investigation.

On 2 March 2014, the ATSB commenced an investigation into a collision with terrain that day involving a Van’s Aircraft RV-6 amateur-built aircraft, registered VH-ZMH, near Gatton Airpark, Queensland.

Examination of information collected during the investigation identified that the pilot held a Civil Aviation Safety Authority flight crew student pilot licence and a Recreation Aviation Australia Incorporated pilot certificate, but did not hold qualifications that entitled the pilot to fly the aircraft as pilot in command.

Examination of the aircraft wreckage identified no mechanical issues or faults with the aircraft that may have contributed to the accident.

From the available eye witness evidence, and after reviewing security video footage that captured the aircraft movements directly prior to impact, the ATSB determined that it was very likely the pilot was performing a low-level aerobatic manoeuvre at a height from which recovery to normal flight was not completed before the aircraft collided with terrain.

The ATSB did not identify any organisational or systemic issues that contributed to the development of the accident or that might adversely affect the future safety of aviation operations and assessed that no safety issues would be identified through further investigation. On that basis, the ATSB has decided to discontinue its investigation.