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Another Indian trainee pilot killed in crash in Oz

An Indian trainee pilot has been killed when the light plane he was flying crashed into a farmland in western Sydney, the second Indian national in a month to die in Australia while learning to fly.

world Updated: Sep 25, 2008 19:18 IST

An Indian trainee pilot was killed when the light plane he was flying crashed into a farmland in western Sydney, the second Indian national in a month to die in Australia while learning to fly.

The 20-year-old student pilot, whose name has not been released, was the sole occupant of the two-seater Liberty XL2 single-engine aircraft, which crashed at the Luddenham area on Wednesday after taking off from Bankstown Airport, 'The Sydney Morning Herald' reported on Thursday.

Citing Green Valley police, it said he had moved to Sydney from Mumbai in January this year to undertake pilot training at the Sydney Flight Training Centre in Bankstown.

The incident came nearly a month after Akash Ananth, a 24-year-old trainee pilot also from India, was killed on his first solo flight over Melbourne. His Cessna 150 clipped another aircraft and crashed into a garage near a primary school on August 27.

About yesterday's crash, police said the student pilot's family in Mumbai has been notified, according to the report.

The school's owner and chief instructor, Barry Diamond, was unavailable for comment.

It was the first fatality worldwide of a Liberty aircraft, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Director of Aviation Safety Julian Walsh said.

He said the student pilot was "doing some sort of navigational exercise".

"We've got some representatives of the aircraft manufacturer and the engine manufacturer flying out from the United States. They'll be assisting our investigators with their specialist knowledge of this aircraft type and they'll provide assistance to our investigation team," he was quoted as saying by AAP news agency.

Walsh said the Liberty XL-2 was a new model of aircraft, only registered in Australia this year.