The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued several safety actions to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA). This follows its investigation into the crash of a Neico Aviation Lancair 360 at Sydney's Bankstown airport last April in which Australian Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association president Ron Bertram was killed.

Bertram was conducting circuits in the kit aircraft to check its operation after repairs following a landing incident in 2003. Following an overflight and a touch-and-go, Bertram conducted another touch-and-go and shortly after lift-off the engine malfunctioned at between 100ft (30m) and 400ft. The aircraft rolled into a steep right turn, engine power returned intermittently and the aircraft descended steeply, hitting a taxiway.

The ATSB determined engine power loss was probably due to interruptions of fuel flow. The aircraft stalled at a height insufficient to allow Bertram to recover.

Following two recent fatal Lancair crashes, CASA reviewed the aircraft's operation, which resulted in the production of guidance material for transition and recurrent training for high-performance experimental aircraft, and has revised its flight instructor manual with increased emphasis on engine failure on take-off and aircraft control, partial power loss and turn back.

Source: Flight International