News

Dead pilot cleared of blame by coroner

AUSTRALIA'S air safety and crash investigation systems failed at almost every level when an innocent pilot was falsely blamed for a fatal Mary Valley plane crash, a Gympie Coroner has found.

Coroner Maxine Baldwin's findings, delivered in Maroochydore on Monday, were scathing of processes adopted by authorities ranging from Gympie police to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Mrs Baldwin found too many people had accepted the word of the aircraft's manufacturer, who had lied about its weight to minimise registration costs.

Police had relied too heavily on investigations by others, the coroner found. Those others had not carried out good enough investigations.

One of those who accepted the manufacturer's advice was an engineer who had modified the aircraft's balance without knowing its true weight - about 200kg more than that shown on registration documents.

Contrary to earlier findings, Mrs Baldwin said the plane was malfunctioning at the time of the crash and "the pilot (Barry Joseph Uscinski) could not reasonably have recovered the aircraft at such low altitude in the circumstances".

Mrs Baldwin found Dr Uscinski died from multiple injuries when his craft, an 80% scale Spitfire replica, crashed on October 22, 2010, on approach to Gympie's Kybong aerodrome.

Mrs Baldwin was scathing about the evidence of aircraft manufacturing chief executive Michael O'Sullivan, of Supermarine Aircraft Pty Ltd.

She said he had covered up the aircraft's excessive weight with "knowingly falsified documents" so he could register the plane under the less stringent requirements of Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus), which administered registrations of ultra light and light sports aircraft.

Mrs Baldwin recommended RA-Aus introduce a system of random checks on registration information and impose exemplary punishment on Mr O'Sullivan.

CASA should review its expectations of RA-Aus and conduct random audits. And police should improve procedures to ensure better security for exhibits, she also recommended.

Gympie Times

Topics:  coroner, pilot




Why we love Muster: Video wrap from day 1

Theo Holzheimer at the main stage of the Gympie Music Muster.

Did we catch you during Thursday's Muster celebrations?

10 acts not to miss at the Muster

MUSTER PIGS: The Pigs wow the crowd at the Crow Bar. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times

The 2016 Muster line-up won't disappoint you.

I like to mooove it mooove it at the Muster - you will too

GET YOUR MOO COW ON: Hadassah Price from the Sunshine Coast with a Muster Moo Cow at the Gympie Muster.

Get a free 2016 Muster Souvenir edition with every Muster Moo Cow

Latest deals and offers

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

I like to mooove it mooove it at the Muster - you will too

GET YOUR MOO COW ON: Hadassah Price from the Sunshine Coast with a Muster Moo Cow at the Gympie Muster.

Get a free 2016 Muster Souvenir edition with every Muster Moo Cow

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa