MAN AND MACHINE: Ray Jackson flying his Airborne Arrow Wing microlight plane during the Great Eastern Fly-In at Evans Head this year.
MAN AND MACHINE: Ray Jackson flying his Airborne Arrow Wing microlight plane during the Great Eastern Fly-In at Evans Head this year. Halden Boyd

Inquiry begins into what caused microlight tragedy

AN INVESTIGATION is under way to determine the cause of the fatal microlight crash on Tuesday involving 59-year-old pilot Ray Jackson near Tyagarah air field.

Recreational Aviation Australia CEO Michael Linke said two of the organisation's investigators were on site yesterday and would work with police to determine the cause of the crash north of Byron Bay.

RELATED: Tributes fly in for Ray Jackson after plane crash tragedy

"Investigators look at three keys factors," he said.

"We look at environmental factors, so that's weather and geography and topography in and around the accident.

"We look at the maintenance and air worthiness of the aircraft involved in the incident.

"And then we look at human factors, so the decision- making of the pilot and the training and experience of the pilot involved in the accident."

He said following his organisation's investigation a report would be prepared for police and the coroner.

Mr Linke said it was still too early to tell what led to the crash.

Despite the Northern Rivers having five recreational aircraft crashes in the past three years, Mr Linke said a five-year analysis of incidents in Australia found the number correlated to population.

He said given the organisation had more than 10,000 members flying 3500 aircraft and clocking up nearly 200,000 hours of flight time each year, recreational aviation was still a very safe activity.

"Obviously incidents like this send shockwaves through the whole organisation and cause people to sit up and think about what they're doing and how they're operating their aircraft, but I don't think it discourages people," he said.

"I think it encourages greater levels of safety and greater awareness within the organisation."



How cold will it get on the Northern Rivers?

How cold will it get on the Northern Rivers?

The next few mornings will be pretty frosty

PHOTOS: All the action from Beef Meets Reef

premium_icon PHOTOS: All the action from Beef Meets Reef

The weather was perfect for this family-friendly event at Evans Head

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