Updated: 6 September 2019
The investigation into the collision with terrain involving a YAK-9UM, VH-YIX, near Latrobe Valley Aerodrome, Victoria on 7 September 2018 is continuing.
ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed numerous information resources, and have:
- analysed radar information and altitude analysis of expected coverage
- analysed witness video and audio
- reviewed witness statements
- reviewed records of the pilot’s training and conversion to warbird aircraft
- reviewed aircraft maintenance, logbooks and other documentation
- conducted a technical analysis of the rudder and canopy
- attempted recovery of digital information from compromised mobile phone.
The investigation is currently in the internal review phase. During this phase, the draft investigation report undergoes a rigorous internal review process to ensure it adequately and accurately reflects the evidence collected, analysis, and agreed findings of the Safety Factor Review.
If the review identifies any issues with the report, such as information that needs to be expanded or findings that need to be modified, investigators will look to collect new evidence or conduct additional examination and analysis of existing evidence.
Once the internal review phase is complete, a draft of the final report will be sent to all directly involved parties for their comment before the report is finalised and published.
Currently, the anticipated completion and publication release date of the final report is during the first quarter of 2020. However, should any critical safety issues be identified during any phase of this investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.
Preliminary report published: 15 November 2018
On 7 September 2018, a Yakovlev Aircraft Factories YAK-9UM aircraft, registered VH-YIX (Figure 1), was being operated on a private flight from Latrobe Regional Airport, Victoria. The pilot/owner of the aircraft was the sole occupant.
The aircraft departed the airport at about 1425 Eastern Standard Time. Recorded air traffic control data showed that the aircraft initially tracked from the airport to the west toward Morwell, climbing to about 2,600 ft and heading north-west near Moe.
Several witnesses described seeing the aircraft conducting aerial manoeuvres to the north of Moe and video footage from a witness showed the aircraft in a steep spiralling dive shortly before it collided with terrain (Figure 2). Other witnesses described seeing the aircraft moments prior to the accident with the engine ‘not revving very loudly’, and ‘making popping noises’. The aircraft was destroyed, and the pilot was fatally injured.
Source: Mike Yeo- jetphotos.net
Site and wreckage examination
On-site examination of the wreckage and surrounding ground markings indicated that the aircraft impacted terrain in a right-wing low, nose‑down attitude. The tail of the aircraft separated from the fuselage during the accident sequence. Both wings, the forward fuselage and the cockpit were substantially disrupted and compressed from vertical impact forces. An extensive area surrounding the accident site was contaminated with fuel that was released when the wing tanks ruptured. The degree of propeller damage observed on-site was consistent with the engine producing a level of power at the time of impact.
The ATSB recovered a number of components from the accident site for further examination. The aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder, nor was it required to be.
The investigation is continuing and will include consideration of the:
- pilot’s qualifications, experience and medical history
- recovered aircraft components
- maintenance documentation
- operational documentation
- witness interviews
- electronic devices recovered from the aircraft.
The information contained in this update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the accident as outlined in this web update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.
|Date:||07 September 2018||Investigation status:||Active|
|Time:||1433 EST||Investigation level:||Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||19 km NW, Latrobe Valley Aerodrome (near Moe-Walhalla Road, Tanjil South)||Investigation phase:||Final report: External review|
|State:||Victoria||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||06 September 2019||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Preliminary||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Anticipated completion:||2nd Quarter 2020|
|Aircraft model||Yakovlev Aircraft Factories - YAK-9UM|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Latrobe Valley, Vic.|
|Destination||Latrobe Valley, Vic.|