ATSB transport safety investigators returned to Caboolture airfield this morning to continue collecting evidence as part of their investigation into yesterday’s tragic fatal mid-air collision.

An initial analysis of a number of sources of video footage showed that the Piper Pawnee glider tug aircraft was returning to land at the airfield on runway 06, while the Jabiru J430 was in the process of taking off from runway 11.  

 The Pawnee was on approach to land before it commenced a go-around – an aborted landing. Go-arounds are a common and well-established practice in aviation and can be conducted for any number of reasons, but we will seek to understand why a go-around was conducted in this instance. 

As well as continuing to analyse video footage, investigators will also conduct interviews with the Pawnee aircraft pilot and witnesses, download any available flight tracking data, and retrieve any avionics devices on either aircraft that may have recorded data.

On-site investigators will also use a drone to map the accident site, and look to fly indicative flightpaths of both aircraft to help build an understanding of what the pilots saw of the other aircraft. 

The ATSB continues to call for any witnesses who may have seen the accident, and in particular for any pilots operating in the area who may have heard radio calls from either accident aircraft, to make contact with us via the witness form on our website.

The ATSB anticipates publishing a preliminary report, which will detail factual information established in the investigation’s evidence collection phase, in about 8 weeks' time. 

A final report, detailing analysis and outlining contributing factors, will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

However, should any critical safety issues be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so that appropriate safety action can be taken.

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