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Aircraft crash near Pingrup, W.A. - pilot critical

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Local media are reporting that a light aircraft went down in farmland about 2:30PM WST today (Sat 22/05/21) near to Willoughby Nature Reserve, about 10kms SW of Pingrup township, in the S.W. Wheatbelt of W.A.


The pilot, the sole occupant, is reported as being in a critical condition, and has been transported to hospital, with the treatment location currently unknown.






The aircraft wreckage has been covered with a tarp because it's currently raining steadily in the Great Southern region. The drums are being used as weights to hold the tarp in position.


Photo copyright of Tom Shanahan, of The Great Southern Herald newspaper.


Pingrup crash.jpg

Edited by onetrack
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Further news and crash clarification to hand - the latest report states the pilot was actually trapped in the wreckage, and was unable to be saved, and died at the scene.


The report goes on to say the victim was a well-known local farmer. 

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A man is believed to have been killed in a horror light plane crash in the remote Great Southern region.

Emergency services were called to the crash site in a paddock just off Nyabing-Pingrup Road following a distress call that was received about 2.30pm on Staurday aftternoon.

It is understood the man was found trapped in the plane’s wreckage east of Katanning near Pingrup and could not be saved. He was the only person on board. 

Investigators will return to the crash site — about four hours south-east of Perth — this morning to try and determine the cause of the crash.

The man is believed to have been a well-known local farmer.

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It's not a large aircraft when you compare the size of it, to the W.A. Police Hilux. Almost certainly an ultralight, and no mention of ATSB involvement.


Photo courtesy of Tom Shanahan again.



Pingrup crash2.jpg

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22 minutes ago, FlyBoy1960 said:

unusual wingtip shape makes guessing the aircraft type difficult.  

Maybe a Saphire mkII looking by the wingtip and rudder fin. Condolences to the family.

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The pilot killed in the Pingrup crash has been identified as a prominent local farmer and a former CBH Area 4 grain handling director, Trevor Badger.


The timeline of Trevors life shows a sharp downward trend for the last year. He was removed as a director of CBH in May 2020, being accused of leaking confidential information, and breaching the CBH code of conduct.


No criminal or civil charges were pursued as part of the removal, and Trevor refuted his removal from the board, stating the accusations had no foundation, and the vote to remove him was not a huge majority.


As regards the crash, I must say I'm a little surprised anyone was out flying in an ultralight in the prevailing weather in the area yesterday afternoon.


A strong cold front preceded by substantial amounts of low-level cloud, swept through the S.W. of W.A. yesterday afternoon, and it's not the type of weather I would personally pick for VFR flying. My condolences to Trevors family and friends.



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Trevor was a longstanding PPL who had owned a Cessna 177RG some years back. I'm not sure that any valid conclusions about his piloting skills should be drawn from his turbulent final years with CBH. Agri-politics is not for the faint hearted, and WA farmers have very strong loyalty, and opinions of, the grain handling company which they all collectively own.  I'm sure that in this, and every, investigation: the pilots' state-of-mind will be well covered.  Let that take place before we speculate. 


His property is located SW of Pingrup and the crash site is nearby.  The country is open, with many large cropped paddocks and only some trees along road and paddock boundaries, or in a few small road and nature reserves.  The wind fairly whistles across this land, and ahead of any approaching cold front, the NW gales take some handling skills. Again, let's wait to hear from on site witnesses and local residents about the weather at around the accident time of 2:30pm.


RIP Trev.

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Poteroo, thanks for the additional information. I wasn't drawing any parallels between Trevors piloting skills and directorship skills -  I was simply remarking how Trevors recent life had been events that worsened. I have noticed this happen many times, to various people, it's kind of like the gods have got a vendetta on people, who suffer a series of adverse unrelated events that continue to plague them. I know I've had it happen to me at times during my life.


The wind at ground level yesterday in the region didn't seem to be excessive. Katanning Research Station, about 90 kms WSW of Pingrup, recorded the wind at 9kts, gusting to 13kts, at 2:30PM yesterday.

The other nearby weather recording station at Newdegate, approximately 70kms NE of Pingrup, was recording 11kts of wind gusting to 15 kts, at the same time.

Personally, I would not have regarded these speeds as hazardous to ultralight flying, but visibility could have been less than ideal.

Based on all the records, pilot error has the highest likelihood of being the main reason behind the crash, but a medical event or engine failure at low level, could also be the reasons behind the disaster.



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