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Investigation into two deaths in ‘experimental’ foreign-registered single-engine aircraft at Appin begins

As one of the worst years of light plane crashes draws to a close, investigators say two people were killed when a small, “experimental” kit-built plane crashed in Sydney’s southwest on Monday. I am looking into the history.

Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said the crew had just arrived at the crash site in Bushland near Appin Road.

The plane crashed Monday, and two people were confirmed dead by emergency services responding to reports of scrub fires.

“It wasn’t a mass-produced aircraft, it was basically built from a kit that we know was first registered in the United States,” Mitchell said.

“I still don’t know how many years it’s been here in Australia.

“It’s what we call an experimental aircraft.”

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Angus Mitchell, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB), said an investigation had been launched.

Mitchell said the investigation is still in its infancy, but his team is looking into what the aircraft was doing in the area.

“We understand it originated in the Goulburn area initially.”

It will be investigated whether the plane took off from Goulburn and was heading for a small runway at Wedderburn.

Police previously said the aircraft went missing in the area after taking off from a private airfield in Wedderburn.

Shortly before 3pm on Monday, a foreign Glasair Super II aircraft struck the terrain.

A safety investigator was dispatched to the scene to investigate the single-engine wreckage, flight information and weather conditions.

Two men in hi-vis clothing hold hoses being sprayed on a bushland fence. Viewed from above.
Emergency services were called after a scrub fire was reported.(ABC News)
firefighter with hose in bushes
A firefighter extinguishes a 5-hectare forest fire.(ABC News)

The crash started a 5-hectare forest fire that was later extinguished.

Mitchell said it was a particularly tragic Christmas for many families after his team was called into another deadly small plane crash.

“This is the second fatal plane crash that we have unfolded in so many days,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this is one of the worst years ever recorded for light aircraft fatalities, with 23 fatalities this year.”

The aircraft was severely damaged by the flames, limiting the amount of physical evidence and electronic data for analysis.

ATSB uses drones to map the site and create 3D images to help investigators better understand the flight profile of the aircraft just prior to impact.

Investigators hope to recover electronic devices such as iPhones and iPads to figure out what happened.

Smoke rises from lush bushes near bitumen road seen from above.
A 5-hectare wildfire was set off by the crash Monday afternoon but has since been extinguished.(ABC News)
Debris on the bush ground
Debris from the Appin plane crash site southwest of Sydney.(ABC News)

The ATSB said the available evidence will determine the size and scope of the investigation and the time frame for completing the final report.

A report will be issued after the investigation is complete, but if any serious safety issues are identified, the ATSB will immediately notify interested parties, Mitchell said.

Emergency vehicle on the road in the bush
The Appin crash was the second fatal plane crash in recent days, according to the Transportation Safety Administration.(ABC News: Jake Lapham)

Transportation security investigators are expected to be on site for at least the next few days to collect evidence and interview witnesses.

Anyone who has seen the aircraft or has relevant footage can contact atsb.gov.au/witness Or call 1800 333 000 or visit and contact Crime Stoppers. nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-27/investigation-begins-two-dead-appin-plane-crash/101809910 Investigation into two deaths in ‘experimental’ foreign-registered single-engine aircraft at Appin begins

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