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:||Latrobe Valley Aerodrome, NW 19 km (near Moe-Walhalla Road, Tanjil South)||Investigation phase:||Examination and analysis|
|State:||Victoria||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||15 November 2018||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Preliminary||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Anticipated completion:||2nd Quarter 2019||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft model||Yakovlev Aircraft Factories - YAK-9UM|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Latrobe Valley, Vic.|
|Destination||Latrobe Valley, Vic.|