Crash re­ports don’t match up

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Rory Sheav­ils

NEW in­for­ma­tion has come to light con­cern­ing the crash­land­ing of a light air­craft at Lake­side Airstrip, out­side Blooms­bury, on July 26.

Three pas­sen­gers on­board the Chero­kee six, which crashed into a dam on the prop­erty be­fore sink­ing, have pro­vided re­ports of the crash, with all three claim­ing no safety brief­ing was per­formed prior to take-off.

The pi­lot, Tony Lanzi, stated in his re­port to the Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau that “a haz­ard brief­ing” had been com­pleted weeks ear­lier, while weight, bal­ance and per­for­mance cal­cu­la­tions were done on the day.

Mr Lanzi also re­ported that all pas­sen­gers had been briefed on the plane’s safety fea­tures be­fore take-off.

Pre­sented with two con­flict­ing re­ports, the ATSB said they have been “un­able to rec­on­cile the dif­fer­ences ev­i­dent be­tween the rec­ol­lec­tions of the pi­lot and those of the three pas­sen­gers who pro­vided in­for­ma­tion”.

Mr Lanzi has claimed the crash may have been caused by a “down draft which con­tri- buted to the air­craft sink­ing on ap­proach”.

Fol­low­ing the crash, the

Whit­sun­day Coast Guardian re­ported that Lake­side Airstrip owner Garry Poole had never per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced a down draft at the site.

“But I won’t say it’s not there,” he said.

“It’s a gully, and you do get down drafts through gul­lies.”

The pi­lot also re­ported that an aborted land­ing, known as a “go-around”, had seen the air­craft’s tail “scrap­ing along the gravel and over the fence”.

Mr Lanzi told the ATSB this had “added ex­tra drag and de­tracted from the air­craft’s per­for­mance”.

The Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity is still ex­am­in­ing ATSB’s re­port into the crash.

AF­TER­MATH: Locals rally to help re­cover the plane.

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