Second Indian student pilot killed in Australia in a month (Lead)

September 25th, 2008 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 25 (IANS) An Indian trainee pilot was killed when his single engine aircraft crashed in Sydney’s Luddenham suburb Wednesday, less than a month after another Indian trainee pilot’s death in a plane crash. The 20-year-old student from Mumbai, who has not been named, died after his Liberty XL2 single-engine aircraft crashed into farmland in Sydney’s Luddenham suburb Wednesday evening, police said.

He was undertaking pilot training at the Sydney Flight Training Centre in Bankstown, about 30 km from the Sydney central business district, since January this year.

The pilot, whose family in India has been notified, is said to have taken off from Bankstown Airport just after 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Shortly after 4 p.m., emergency services received reports of a light plane that had crashed into trees on a property in Willowdene Avenue, Luddenham. Upon arrival, the emergency services personnel located the sole male occupant deceased inside the wreckage,” a police official said.

The Air Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will be conducting an investigation into the incident.

On Aug 27, an Indian trainee pilot from Bangalore, 24-year-old Akash Ananth, had died after the wing of his Cessna 150 was clipped by another plane and he crashed on his solo flight in the populated Cheltenham suburb of Melbourne.

The ATSB investigation into Ananth’s crash is expected to take up to a year, with a preliminary report expected to be released soon.

The Sydney Flight Training Centre, established in 2003, is said to be the southern hemisphere’s fastest-growing international flight college, with students from Australia and around the world, including India, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Europe.

The school’s owner and chief instructor Barry Diamond had started his career as a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Navy and has over four decades of aviation experience.

Diamond, who has not responded to IANS calls for comment, was general manager of flight operations with Australia’s flagship airlines, Qantas, and a flight operations inspector for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and chief pilot of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

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