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Thu, Jun 17, 2010

Medical Services Flight Down In Australia

Pilot And Nurse On Board Fatally Injured In The Accident

A 27-year-old pilot and a nurse aboard a Piper PA-31P were fatally injured Tuesday when the aircraft experienced engine problems and went down Tuesday morning in a residential neighborhood in Sydney, Australia.

The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) told Sky News that the pilot had issued a mayday call reporting engine problems about 25 miles from Bankstown, where the flight originated. The nearest airport was Richmond, but heavy fog was reported in the area, and the pilot decided to attempt a return to Bankstown.

The aircraft was a medical transport flight operated by Skymaster Air Services. Its intended destination was Brisbane.

Piper PA-31 File Photo

The pilot, identified as Andrew Wilson, told air traffic controllers he was losing altitude as he attempted to return to Bankstown. Witnesses said they heard the engine "surging."  Wilson told controllers he was going to attempt to land on a road. The airplane touched down on Canley Vale Road near a school, but then hit a power pole and caught fire. There were no reports of injuries on the ground.

The nurse has not been officially identified. The ATSB said it would have a preliminary report on the accident in about 30 days.



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