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Narrative:On 5 February 2011, the pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company 310R aircraft, registered VH-XGX, was conducting a return flight to Darwin, Northern Territory, following a charter flight to Bathurst Island. The pilot departed from Bathurst Island Aerodrome at approximately 21:40 and the aircraft collided with terrain shortly thereafter - approximately 1 km from the upwind end of the departure runway. The pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and a post-impact fire.
|Owner/operator:||Barrier Air (owner: David Harding)|
|C/n / msn:|| 310R-0058|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||About 1km from Nguiu Airstrip -
|Phase:|| Initial climb|
|Departure airport:||Bathurst Island, NT|
|Destination airport:||Darwin, NT|
The ATSB did not identify any technical deficiencies within the aircraft that may have contributed to the impact with terrain. The location of the wreckage, together with the dark night conditions and the relatively light load of the aircraft suggested that it was likely that the pilot was influenced by the effects of somatogravic illusion following takeoff. The somatogravic illusion is a powerful human physiological illusion that produces an upward-pitching sensation under conditions of acceleration accompanied by limited visual or other references.
||Updated [Operator, Source]|
||Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]|
||Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Embed code, Narrative]|
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