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Please spare a thought for this tragedy at Sydney

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A tragedy occured in the vicinity of Bankstown airport (New South Wales, Australia) on Sunday. A mid air collision occured at around 15.30 local time between a Piper Warrier and Socata Tobago. According to preliminary media reports, the Cherokee had been rented by a pilot who was returning with his immediate family from Wagga in the state's Central West. The Tobago was an instructional flight but at the time of the accident the instructor was hands-on. It appears at around the time of the collision, the Tobago had been performing left-circuit touch and goes and was preceeding on short final to runway 29 left. The Cherokee was also preceeding on short final at the time and was performing a right turn from base to final on runway 29 centre (Bankstown has three parallel runways - 29L, 29C and 29R). As a result of the collision, the Cherokee sustained damage to the tail area and the pilot was unable to maintain control of the aircraft. The aircraft subsequently crashed into a nearby factory killing all four souls on board. The Tobago issued a mayday transmission to ATC and was subsequently able to safely land.What a terrible accident. Mid air collisions are thankfully an extremely rare occurance. What made the accident all the more tragic was that it was a family aboard the Cherokee - Father (pilot), mother and two kids (boy and girl). One must also feel for the student pilot, who, whilst being passenger at the time must feel terrible about this incident.I thought I should post this here as we often take for granted our safety and the fact we will roll up again tomorrow for yet another day in our lives. It is very sobering to remember that we can do whatever we like in a simulator whilst being 100% safe. Such is not the case when we trade our computer screens for a real cockpit.My deepest sympathy goes out to surviving members of the family who perished in the Warrier (I understand the pilot had two children from a previous marriage who were not on board the aircraft), as it does for everyone else involved in this terrible incident.It will be very enlightening to read the ATSB report on this incident when it is finally issued. I am sure the findings will help improve air safety even further and hopefully further reduce the chances of a terrible incident like this from occuring again.EDIT: my apologies that my automatic signature was included in this post. I hit the post button without disabling it first. Not in very good taste considering this post. Sorry.

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JonThat is very sad news especially as there were innocents on board in the form of the pilots wife and two young children.A good friend of mine whos Mooney I used to fly was killed in the aircraft carrying a non flying passenger when they collided with a hill in low cloud.I was a pall bearer at the funeral and it really strikes home the misery such an accident causes not to the people killed but to those left behind.It has always bothered me flying single pilot how dependant your passengers are on you. If you screw up or your body does they stand little chance.Cirrus have lead the way with a ballistic parachute system which may have saved these lives had this Pilot been flying a Cirrus.Other manufacturers should start to think about recovery systems to avoid terrible events like this.very sad :-(Peter

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According to the flying school the student was flying and the instructor took control either just before or immediately after the collision. In the circumstances would the the two aircraft pilots views of each other have been obscured by one with a left wing down and the other with a right wing down? If that were the case perhaps the instructor saw the accident about to happen but was unable to react in time.

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