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An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.

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Gympie finding rails against CASA

Gympie finding rails against CASA [2nd January 2015] in delivering the Coroners finding on 29th December 2014, following the October 22, 2010 accident at Gympie involving a 80% scale supamarine replica aircraft.

In part, the Coroner said “……CASA should review its expectations of RA-Aus………..”.

The Coroners brief was as follows:

1. The findings required by s. 45(2) of the Coroners Act 2003; namely the identity of the deceased person, when, where and how he died and what caused his death;

2. The adequacy of the maintenance, repairs and testing of the aircraft, which had been conducted prior to the deceased’s final test flight;

3. The adequacy of the weight/balance and ‘best glide / stall speed’ information provided to the deceased for the aircraft; and

4. Whether any recommendations can be made to reduce the likelihood of deaths occurring in similar circumstances or otherwise contribute to public health and safety or the administration of justice.
22-Oct-10 GYMPIE

In pprune, there is further information.

The ATSB released a report on material researched and provided to RAAus.

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Dead pilot cleared of blame by coroner

Coroner Maxine Baldwin’s findings, delivered in Maroochydore on Monday, were scathing of processes adopted by authorities ranging from Gympie police to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Mrs Baldwin found too many people had accepted the word of the aircraft’s manufacturer, who had lied about its weight to minimise registration costs.

Police had relied too heavily on investigations by others, the coroner found. Those others had not carried out good enough investigations.

One of those who accepted the manufacturer’s advice was an engineer who had modified the aircraft’s balance without knowing its true weight – about 200kg more than that shown on registration documents.

Contrary to earlier findings, Mrs Baldwin said the plane was malfunctioning at the time of the crash and “the pilot (Barry Joseph Uscinski) could not reasonably have recovered the aircraft at such low altitude in the circumstances”.

Mrs Baldwin found Dr Uscinski died from multiple injuries when his craft, an 80% scale Spitfire replica, crashed on October 22, 2010, on approach to Gympie’s Kybong aerodrome.

Mrs Baldwin was scathing about the evidence of aircraft manufacturing chief executive Michael O’Sullivan, of Supermarine Aircraft Pty Ltd.

She said he had covered up the aircraft’s excessive weight with “knowingly falsified documents” so he could register the plane under the less stringent requirements of Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus), which administered registrations of ultra light and light sports aircraft.

Mrs Baldwin recommended RA-Aus introduce a system of random checks on registration information and impose exemplary punishment on Mr O’Sullivan.

CASA should review its expectations of RA-Aus and conduct random audits. And police should improve procedures to ensure better security for exhibits, she also recommended.