THE LOSS OF MACCHI A7-039  

This may not look like much, but this small dark depression in the sand is the impact point of a crash that made a significant change to the way Australia operated the Macchi.  


On the 11th August 1970 Macchi A7-039 was returning to RAAF Gin Gin following an early instrument  flying training sortie.    As the aircraft came through initial for 08, the canopy was seen to separate from the aircraft about halfway down the runway.   A7-039 continued on to pitch just past the control tower and to impact in a clear patch of ground adjacent to the NDB.    Unfortunately both of the crew were lost, the instructor in the front seat was incapacitated by the canopy departing in flight  and the student in the back seat remained with the aircraft.    The procedure in vogue at the time permitted the student in the rear cockpit under the instrument flying hood to slide the hood back at the end of the instrument sortie to take advantage of the visual approach and landing.   In this instance there is a possibility that the student while sliding back the hood, (popularly known as -The Bag) accidentally bumped open the canopy release handle (red arrow in the cockpit photo below).


This may not look like much, but this small dark depression in the sand is the impact point of a crash that made a significant change to the way Australia operated the Macchi.


On the 11th August 1970 Macchi A7-039 was returning to RAAF Gin Gin following an early instrument flying training sortie. As the aircraft came through initial for 08, the canopy was seen to separate from the aircraft about halfway down the runway. A7-039 continued on to pitch just past the control tower and to impact in a clear patch of ground adjacent to the NDB. Unfortunately both of the crew were lost, the instructor in the front seat was incapacitated by the canopy departing in flight and the student in the back seat remained with the aircraft. The procedure in vogue at the time permitted the student in the rear cockpit under the instrument flying hood to slide the hood back at the end of the instrument sortie to take advantage of the visual approach and landing. In this instance there is a possibility that the student while sliding back the hood, (popularly known as -The Bag) accidentally bumped open the canopy release handle (red arrow in the cockpit photo below).


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