Melbourne, Aug 29: Akash Ananth, Indian aviation student in Melbourne died at 3.40 am IST on Wednesday, Aug 27 after the wing of his Cessna-150 clipped that of another aircraft and crashed into a garage at the Cheltenham area. 24 year old Akash was on his first solo flight, when his aircraft collided mid air just metres away from a primary school and residential area.
Witnesses said one of the planes clipped the other's tail. "It's a residential area and main road for a local school. Despite the tragic outcome of one person deceased, we're very lucky no other person was affected," Ambulance Victoria group manager Peter Swan was quoted as saying.
The male pilot in the other plane, a Piper Warrior, was also an Indian trainee but was accompanied by another qualified pilot, 'The Age' reported. They were not injured and landed the plane safely at nearby Moorabbin Airport.
Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have begun inspecting the wreckage of the crashed plane. Stuart Rushton, the President of the Royal Victorian Aero Club which owned both the aircraft, said Ananth's death was tragic.
"When you're working with someone on a regular basis, and you say to them, 'well you go and fly and do some circuits now', and they don't come back, it's absolutely devastating," he was quoted as saying ABC. Chris Sullivan of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was too early to say how the collision happened.
A group of Indian trainee pilots who visited the scene said the deceased had left Moorabbin Airport this afternoon. "He was on his first solo flight... and was forced to do a spiral dive," trainee pilot Ben Zachariah told AAP. "He would have been doing circuits, which means you are not more than 1,000 feet high and couldn't have had time to do it safely."
Akash Ananth hails from Bangalore, Karnataka. His parents will soon leave to Australia to collect his mortal remains. Akash Anand studied at Kumarans School Bangalore. After completion of his undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Oxford College, JP Nagar, he joined Melbourne's Royal Aero Club and was undergoing training to become a commercial pilot.