A student pilot badly injured in a light plane crash in Melbourne didn't have the qualifications or skills to fly the plane alone, an investigation has found.
The student had previously taken a supervised flight in the Bristell plane, but felt nervous about flying it solo and wanted "to get used to it more", the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said on Wednesday.
Despite this, the student mistakenly believed they had been cleared by Soar Aviation to fly the plane alone when they crashed at Moorabbin Airport on December 12, 2019.
The ATSB found the student did not have the required skills or qualifications to operate that particular plane without supervision.
This wasn't picked up ahead of time because the required procedures had not been followed.
The student was badly injured when they crashed during their second attempt to land, after the plane stalled and started spinning.
Soar Aviation was subsequently issued with a safety notice and ceased operating in December 2020.
The ATSB's director of transport safety, Stuart Macleod, said the crash could have been fatal and it illustrated the dangers of deviating from required safety procedures.
Australian Associated Press