The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into a collision with terrain accident involving an Air Tractor aerial application aircraft north-west of Bourke on Saturday morning.

While conducting aerial spraying on a property near Bourke, the aircraft collided with the ground, coming to rest inverted.

The ATSB is deploying a team of three transport safety investigators from its Canberra office, with expertise in human factors, aircraft maintenance, and operations. The team was due to depart Canberra on Saturday afternoon to arrive on site on Sunday.

On site investigators will conduct a range of evidence-gathering activities on site, including site mapping, wreckage examination, and recovery of any aircraft components for further examination at the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra.

Investigators will also seek to interview any witnesses and involved parties, and collect relevant recorded information including flight tracking data, as well as pilot and aircraft maintenance records, and weather information.

The ATSB will release a final report at the conclusion of the investigation. However, if at any time should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so safety action can be taken.

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