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Mid-air collision near Moorabbin airport

Guest Ken deVos

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Guest Ken deVos

One person dies in mid-air crash


  • Larissa Ham
  • The Age August 28, 2008 - 1:12PM


A mid-air collision near Moorabbin airport has killed one person.


One plane crashed in the backyard of a property in Lorna Street, Cheltenham, while the other landed safely at the airport.


Police said a nearby primary school had been `locked down', but its students and staff were safe.


A Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman told The Age they recieved a call at 12.30pm today about a light plane crash.


"We were told a plane hit a building at Cheltenham," Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman, Paul Bentley said.


Mr Bentley ambulance crews were still evaluating the injuries of those involved.



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Guest airsick

A bit more info from - http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/27/2347921.htm?section=justin


Mid-air collision over Melbourne suburb


One of the planes landed safely but the other crashed and one of the pilots was killed.


The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says a Cessna 150, which is a two-seater training plane, collided just after 12:30pm with a Piper Warrior, which seats four people.


The Cherokee landed safely at Moorabbin airport but the Cessna crashed in a property near the corner of Dandenong and Warrigal Roads. Police and rescue teams are now on the scene of the crash.


Peter Gibson from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority said both planes were light training aircraft operated by the Royal Victorian Aero Club, which is a major flight training organisation.


He said Moorabbin Airport does have air traffic control but its not clear if they were operating under their control or independently.


He said that will be examined as part of the investigation.


Cheltenham East Primary school, which is near the scene, has been shut down but police say the students are safe.



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Guest Pabloako

From Brisbanetimes


A student pilot has been killed after a mid-air collision near Moorabbin airport caused his light plane to crash in a Cheltenham street, just metres from a primary school.


- Pilot killed


- School 'locked down'


- Explosion reported


The dead pilot's plane crashed into a garage in the backyard of a property in Silver Street, while the other landed safely at the airport.


All 200 students at Cheltenham East Primary School, which is at the end of the street where the plane crashed, were safe and well a police spokewoman said.


Royal Victorian Aero Club president Stuart Rushton said the man who was killed was a student pilot who was flying solo.


A student pilot and instructor, who were in the other plane, a Piper Warrior, had been offered grief counselling, he said.


"They (the student pilots) will be devastated as will the instructors because the instructors have a real bond with the students. They're sitting beside them for hours and hours and hours,'' Mr Rushton said.


A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman labelled the Piper Warrior pilot a hero for managing to land his aircraft away from the school and averting further tragedy.


"The pilot in their handling of the incident, avoiding the school, was certainly heroic it could have been catastrophic," she said.


"It was pleasing that everybody at the school was safe and no one was affected there."


A witness who gave his name as Darren was one of the first on the scene and tried to save the occupant of the crashed plane.


"I was driving by and I heard a big bang and saw him go into the back of a fellow's garage,'' Darren told Fairfax Radio Network.


"Me and another couple of guys jumped in and borrowed a fire extinguisher from the school to put it out.''


Mr Rushton said the plane that landed at the airfield had a substantial amount of damage to the tail.


Ambulance Victoria Group Manager Peter Swan said it was remarkable more people had not been injured or killed.


"When responding to a scene like this of course we've got to consider the worst outcome, it's a residential area, main through roads for the local school, it's opposite the residents and despite the tragic outcome of one person deceased this afternoon we're certainly very pleased that no other parties were affected by this incident this afternoon," he said.


A 14-year-old girl whose Lorna Street house is only metres from the crash site said she had heard a loud bang but the plane wreck had been obscured by dense black smoke.


She said the brick garage's walls were still standing after the planned slammed into its roof and the street was now blocked off.


"People came from everywhere," she said.


The teenager said people had run from nearby houses while some who had witnessed the plane falling from the sky drove to the scene from outlying factories.


"I'm pretty shaken-up," she said.


"I'm a bit nervous now, I'm still a bit scared."


Lorna Street resident Kevin Fennessy said he heard a plane flying very low and, as it got over his neighbour's house, he could tell the engine was not firing properly.


"The next thing I knew there was a loud explosion and black smoke,'' he told Fairfax Radio.


Lorna Street resident Barbara Bateman said she heard a loud noise and looked out her window to see the flaming wreckage in a Silver Street garage, at the rear of three units.


"I heard this really loud noise and all of a sudden there was a boom and a big explosion," she said.


"You could see big black smoke and flames were coming out."


Ms Bateman said her neighbour at 1 Lorna Street was eating lunch in her kitchen, two metres from the garage, after picking up her teenage children from a nearby high school when the plane came spiralling down.


She said she rang the fire brigade and had been told by other witnesses that two planes may have clipped in mid-air, sending the plane crashing down.


"You could see bits of plane flying off ... and flames shooting up," she said.


"The pilot wouldn't have stood a chance."


A Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman received a call about a light plane crash at 12.30pm, a spokesman said.


"We were told a plane hit a building at Cheltenham," Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman, Paul Bentley said.


Kingston Council's Sue Braddy said the council had been notified by the police of the accident immediately, because the plane had crash-landed in a residential area.


"As we understand it, and we're waiting for final confirmation of this, two light planes, possibly landing or taking off from Moorabbin, have clipped wings," Ms Braddy said.


"One of those planes landed successfully, and the other has crash landed into a house's garden area. And as we understand it, it was the pilot of the crashed plane that has been killed."


Ms Bateman, who has lived in the street for 46 years, said she always feared a plane might land in the populated area.


"There is a school right on the corner, if it had come down another few hundred yards it would have been in the school," she said. "I've been waiting for this to happen for years.


"On a hot night you'll be sitting in your TV room and you can hardly hear the TV they come down so low."


Ms Bateman said there were parts of the plane and glass in her neighbour's yard and the woman had been shaken by the crash.


"It was nerve-racking. I've thought about it often - what would happen if one of those planes came down it's so densely populated and if you're driving down Centre Dandenong Road they would almost touch your car during landing," she said.


"I always thought, 'something's going to happen one day' and I've lived to see it."


Peter Gibson, from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said the mid-air collision had involved two aircraft from the Royal Victorian Aero Club.


A Cessna 150 and a Piper Warrior were the two planes involved, Mr Gibson said.


Both are light aircraft used for training.


The accident happened at 12.35pm, two nautical miles from Moorabbin Airport.


"Because they are both training aircraft and both are operated by the Royal Victoria Aero Club, you would assume they were both on training exercises," Mr Gibson said.


Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have this afternoon begun inspecting the wreckage of the crashed plane, and the Piper Warrior.


Mr Gibson said it was not CASA's role to decide if Moorabbin Airport was an appropriate place to have an airport.


"Moorabbin Airport holds a certificate from us, and we audit them, but we don't look at the geographic location of the airport; that's a planning issue for the Government," he said.


"Most of the big training airports in Australia are in pretty similar suburban locations, so it's not as if Moorabbin is Robinson Crusoe in this situation; it used to be way out in the bush and the city has grown up around it."


- With AAP



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All the locals will now have more ammunition to shoot at closing an airfield...... that was once remote!


I read somewhere that they were taking off, one could assume that they were on parallel runways at the time and one has drifted off the centreline heading. This may not be the case however a timely reminder about runway centreline tracking and being precise, even at a single runway location, so others expect you to be where you say you are.


Feel sorry for the folk at RVAC, will be a sad day for them.





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Guest High Plains Drifter

Via Pabloako,


Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have this afternoon begun inspecting the wreckage of the crashed plane

Probably best to wait and see what the ATSB find before we engage in speculation.



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Guest Macnoz

This type of debate goes on, on EVERY forum such as this after a regretful incident such as this.


It is probably natural to speculate as to causes and look for answers in the same way we do when a friend commits suicide or splits for their long standing partner.


We do it I believe so as to be more self aware if the same could / should happen to ourselves.


Those of you (no offence intended avi8or72 or anyone) who object to the debate – well why did you read the thread. You probably knew about the terrible loss of life already and I imagine come here wondering why why why.


My condolonces heart goes out to the family and friends of the pilot and his / her instructors.


And I bet we are all going to be just a little bit more alert in the circuit next time.




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Our deepest condolences to the family/s of those involved.


I know we have a couple of people on this forum that fly with the RVAC.


Whilst I dont expect a response, please pass on our best wishes to all those involved.....


A sad day indeed 051_crying.gif.fe5d15edcc60afab3cc76b2638e7acf3.gif



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Guest Pabloako

Another very, very sad incident and according to the news the student who sadly died was on his first solo flight. My deepest condolences to everyone involved.



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Hey Avi8tor


Sorry if you feel offended, but I think Macnoz summed it up pretty well.


My comments were made as an observation of some dubious media report, so we can only hope the ATSB find the truth, and it should be pointed out some times they do not, or they even get it wrong. Nobody is perfect.


Having said that, my thought on what may have gone wrong is worth contemplating in the hope that an accident of the kind is less likely to occur to one of our readers.


.............. you know there are many on here who actually appreciate a sincere and well meant comment like this. I know I do and I know many others here do also.


When the media (rightly or wrongly) report on a car accident stating a wreckless hoo was drunk and speeding........... do you all get upset? If they make the statement it appears he lost control on gravel and hit a tree....... do you all get upset?


So take a deep breath and be glad that those who make some constructive comments are not making the outrageous claims as I saw on a column in the media about pilots being hoons in the sky!







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speculation or no speculation.. it appears we can assume there was a midair collision of some description.. i can recall some members saying that midairs don't happen.. or they are so rare that there's no point discussing them..well, i can count 5 in the last 12 months, in aus, nz and usa.


While its a terribly sad thing, and im sure we all sympathise with the people involved, what can discussion like this achieve??..well, perhaps next time some of us are flying around, we might take a second look under that wing, or get on the radio and ask someone there position even if it makes us look a bit silly..Please don't take these comments as a reflection or speculation as to what went on in the cockpits.. no-one could know that except the guys involved..But a high wing and a low wing involved in a midair in the cct would be an "easy accident" to happen for the obvious reasons of humans having poor visability through layers of alluminium..


Im not big on speculation either, but, we can deal with some of the facts.. and the fact is, midairs can and do happen, and the result's are usually another life (or more) lost in terribly tragic circumstances..


once again, our hearts are aching for all involved tonight..



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Wow really looks like first solo. How cruel is fate. He did really well to miss the school.


His instructor and the controller must be stunned.





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Guest airsick
Please don't take these comments as a reflection or speculation as to what went on

Personally I have no problem with speculation as to what happened. If we learn from it then something positive can come from something not so positive. Similarly I do not have any problem with reflection. When we find out what happened we can reflect against the events and, again, learn something.


What I have an issue with is the judgement factor. As MM said above, high wings and low wings have blind spots that don't mesh together really well. If we speculate that is what happened and reflect against the possible events then all is well. To begin suggesting that a particular person is at fault because they didn't do something right is not our place.


Discussion and debate that is sensitive to those impacted by the accident and sensible should not be prevented or discouraged.



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airsick, yea i agree, i just didnt want anyone to think i was saying that they weren't looking out..


On the news last night they had some pic's, of both acft. The cessna had obvious distortions of the wing outside of the strut and the strut looked bent. Taken in the air after the impact, and leaves a sickening taste in ones mouth. The piper's elevator was completly smashed on the left side, it was barely recognisable. The guy that landed that acft in that state deserves a medal..



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Guest airsick

And so it begins...


Snippets from http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/28/2348477.htm?section=australia


Moorabbin residents fear repeat plane crash


Residents around Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne are worried there could be a repeat of yesterday's deadly plane crash.


Local Catherine Berry says she is surprised there have not been more mid-air incidents.


"Especially out in the summer, when you're out having fun with the kids, you constantly hear planes making bodgy noises," she said.


"And you'll always look up into the sky and sometimes there'll be those thoughts in your head like, 'God, is that gonna crash?'


"It is very concerning. I'm just surprised that it hasn't happened here, sooner."



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Guest airsick

and continues...


More snippets from http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24252911-2862,00.html


The crash sparked fresh calls for Moorabbin airport to reduce the volume of air traffic.


"This is not a safe environment for people living here," said Tom Uren, of Moorabbin Airport Residents Association.


"We've been waiting for this to happen.


"It chilled my blood when I heard about it, and when they mentioned the school I thought, 'Oh golly, what's the final report going to be?'


"We are extremely lucky there was only one death.


"It could have been a terrible disaster."


Clearly this guy thinks the death of the student pilot is not a terrible disaster. Unfortunately this knob will no doubt get more press coverage than he deserves and his scaremongering will be heard far and wide.



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Ths mornings Sydney Telegraph has a large photo of the Cessna on it's way down, clearly shows damage from the wing tip and leadng edge and along the underside to the strut. Part of the text speculates on the lack of command for the English language by Indian students being a major factor of incidents at this airport.


It is unfortunate that former minister Tom Uren, known as a bit of a mover and shaker, is involved.





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Unbelievably incensative comments from him..


BK would be similar wouldn't it, with all those houses underneath you in the cct..


they said they have been waiting for this to happen, why, so they can complain and say, see, i told you this would happen...statistically it will probably not happen for another 50 years if ever, but that won't matter...ggrrrr...


They keep closing strips left right and center, forcing the training to bunch up into whats left, with a high demand for training these days, where do these do gooders think we should all go??hoxtons going which will put more traffic into BK and CN..there's only 3 ALA's left in the sydney basin (not counting richmond) and syd international is no place for a light acft..i think some sort of balance needs to be achieved, before the problem gets worse..


there's someone else we need to give a thought to, if this was his first solo or indeed any of his early solo's, his instructor would have no doubt been standing near the taxiway watching the whole terrible thing play out, and be powerless to prevent it.. an absolutly awefull thought, and my worst fear..thats why i always carry the handheld when i am sending em solo..



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