Preliminary report published: 21 November 2018
On 5 October 2018, at about 1120 Eastern Daylight‑saving Time, a Bristell Light Sport Aircraft, registered VH-YVX, departed Moorabbin Airport, Victoria, with a pilot and passenger onboard. The purpose of the flight was a navigation exercise in support of the pilot’s commercial pilot training requirements. The passenger held a student pilot licence but his aviation medical certificate was not current.
At about 1240, following an overfly of the intended waypoint at Stawell Airport, the aircraft was observed by witnesses to conduct a 180° turn towards the east at about 1,500 ft above ground level (Figure 1). Following the turn the aircraft was observed to commence a number of manoeuvres before entering a spin. The pilot was unable to recover control of the aircraft before it impacted terrain.
Source: Google earth, with Airservices surveillance radar data. Modified by the ATSB
A witness at the aerodrome notified emergency services about the accident. Two other witnesses at the aerodrome utilised an aircraft to locate the accident site, and guided the emergency services to its location. The pilot and passenger sustained significant injuries and were airlifted to hospital. The aircraft was destroyed.
Site and wreckage examination
The ATSB conducted an examination of the accident site and wreckage (Figure 2). This examination identified that the:
- aircraft was located in relatively flat and open farmland, which was about 1.7 km south‑east of Stawell Airport
- ground impact marks indicated that the aircraft had impacted terrain in a relatively flat, upright, counter clock-wise spin
- flaps were in the retracted position
- elevator trim was in a neutral position.
No pre-impact defects were identified with the flight controls or aircraft structure.
A panel‑mounted avionics unit was removed from the aircraft and taken to the ATSB’s technical facility in Canberra for examination. The stored information was successfully downloaded and included numerous flight and engine parameters recorded during the accident flight.
The investigation is continuing and will include:
- interviews with parties involved in the accident
- analysis of the downloaded data from the avionics unit and other electronic devices
- examination of the pilot’s qualifications, experience and medical history
- assessment of the aircraft’s flight performance characteristics
- examination of aircraft maintenance and operational records
- examination of the training organisation records and procedures.
The information contained in this preliminary report 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 update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.
Update: 4 October 2019
The investigation into the collision with terrain involving a BRM Aero s.r.o. Bristell S-LSA, VH-YVX, near Stawell, Victoria on 5 October 2018 is continuing.
ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed numerous information sources including:
- details of the wreckage and accident site
- interviews with parties involved in the accident
- the pilot’s qualifications, experience and medical history
- recorded flight data
- the aircraft’s flight performance characteristics
- aircraft maintenance and operational records
- records and procedures of the training organisation.
The investigation is currently in the examination and analysis phase. During this phase, evidence is reviewed and evaluated to determine its relevance, validity, credibility and relationship to other evidence and to the occurrence. ATSB investigators are:
- undertaking detailed data analysis
- creating simulations and reconstructing events
- examining the aircraft flight characteristics and determining the sequence of events.
Once the examination of the evidence is complete, the investigation team will test a series of hypotheses to arrive at a number of safety factors that either contributed to the accident, or otherwise increased safety risk.
The investigation team then convenes a Safety Factor Review with ATSB management. This is a rigorous internal review of the progress of the investigation, its preliminary findings and focus. The Safety Factor Review involves the investigation team presenting their evidence and analysis to reach consensus on the investigation findings. Once consensus is achieved, the report drafting phase of the investigation can begin.
Currently, the anticipated completion and publication release date of the final report is during the fourth quarter of 2019. 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.
The ATSB is investigating a collision with terrain involving a BRM Aero S.R.O. Bristell S-LSA, VH-YVX, near Stawell, Victoria on 5 October 2018.
The aircraft collided with terrain and the pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Four investigators from Brisbane and Canberra travelled to the accident site to begin the evidence collection phase of the investigation. This will include the examination of the wreckage, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining any available recorded data for analysis, amongst other activities.
A report will be published at the completion of the investigation. However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties.
|Date:||05 October 2018||Investigation status:||Active|
|Time:||1300 AEST||Investigation level:||Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||1.7 km SE Stawell Airport||Investigation phase:||Examination and analysis|
|State:||Victoria||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||21 November 2018||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Preliminary||Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Anticipated completion:||2nd Quarter 2020|
|Aircraft model||BRM Aero Bristell S-LSA|
|Type of operation||Flying Training|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|
|Departure point||Moorabbin, Vic.|