A pilot who died in a fiery plane crash at a Melbourne shopping centre along with four passengers failed a key test after a shocking mid-air incident two years before the tragedy.
Max Quartermain was flying the aircraft when it crashed into the Essendon DFO shortly after take off about 9am on February 21, 2017.
The crash killed the 63-year-old and four American tourists on board – Greg De Haven, Glenn Garland, Russell Munsch and John Washburn.
Camera IconThe plane crashed into the DFO at Essendon Fields adjacent to the airport on February 21, 2017. Supplied Credit: Supplied
A coroner is probing the crash and was told the pilot underwent an instrument proficiency check following a mid-air incident where he came too close to another plane at Mt Hotham in September 2015.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority expert Naomichi Nishizawa gave evidence on Tuesday about what happened during the test and whether he considered revoking the pilot’s licence.
Mr Quatermain grabbed the wrong instrument during the landing, which simulated one engine not working and the approach became “unstable”.
Camera IconPilot Max Quartermain, 63, who died along with four passengers when his aircraft crashed at the DFO close to Essendon Airport near Melbourne. Credit: Supplied
The expert considered taking control of the aircraft during the test and described it as a “major failure”.
“In my observation he was in a state of shock,” Mr Nishizawa said of the pilot after the failed proficiency check.
Mr Nishizawa told the court he did not speak to the pilot about the Mt Hotham incident after the failed test because of the state he was in.
The aviation expert was quizzed about whether he considered revoking, varying or cancelling Mr Quatermain’s licence.
Camera IconAmerican golfers (l-r) John Washburn, Glenn Garland, Russell Munsch and Greg DeHaven died in the tragic plane crash. Source: Facebook Credit: Supplied
“It was too premature to make that determination,” he told the court.
He recommended remedial training following the test failure.
The court was also told the pilot had nine noncompliance notices in February 2016, a year before the crash.
The fatal flight was bound for King Island off the coast of Tasmania and was one of the state’s worst civil aviation crashes.
The hearing in front of Coroner Darren Bracken continues.Internet Explorer Channel Network