172 Lands On Ultralight

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The pilot of an Avid ultralight was killed Saturday when a Cessna 172 flown by a 15-year-old student collided with it from above as both were on final for the same runway at Latrobe Valley Regional Airport in the Gippsland town of Traralgon in Australia. "It appears the Cessna had hit the ultralight while both were attempting to land and the Cessna came in on top of the aircraft during the final approach," Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson told the Sunday Herald Sun. The student pilot was able to land safely without injury but the ultralight "disintegrated on impact," caught fire and left a debris field 500 yards across, according to the newspaper.

Gibson said that the Australian Transportation Safety Board would be investigating. At the airport, members of the local flying fraternity were awaiting formal identification of the pilot. "I think people have been doing what people do in an emergency. They've all been pulling together working, making sure that everything was done that could be done. I don't think they've had time to be shaken up yet," said airport manager Noel Cooper. Gippsland Ultralight and Leisure Flyers member Vin Martin said the club had an "excellent" safety record. "The club's been going for 20-odd years. There's been a few fatalities in that time but there hasn't been too many to speak of."