Initial investigations into a fatal plane crash which killed two Border men has found the aircraft was flying low, spun out of control, and crashed heavily to the ground.
They had been inspecting power lines at Sutton, near Canberra, for Essential Energy.
Albury-based Oberon Aviation Services operated the service.
A preliminary report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has revealed the crash was witnessed by three people.
"Witness reports indicated that a loss of control and entry into a spin preceded the ground impact," ATSB director transport safety Stuart Macleod said.
"Examination of the wreckage showed that the aircraft impacted the ground in a near vertical, nose down attitude."
"To date, ATSB transport safety investigators have examined the aircraft wreckage, mapped the accident site with a drone, retrieved relevant aircraft components for further analysis, interviewed witnesses and the aircraft operator, downloaded flight-related electronic data, and collected weather information."
The nearest witness was about 100 metres from the scene of the crash, which occurred at 4.24pm.
GPS data shows the Cessna 172 had travelled south east before conducting several turns.
The plane had been flying at low altitude, above trees, before banking heavily left, entering a spin and crashing.
Safety findings have not yet been made.
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"As the investigation progresses, the ATSB will continue to analyse the aircraft's flight path and recorded data, and review pilot qualifications, maintenance records and the operator's procedures for conducting flight survey aerial work," Mr Macleod said.
"However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken."
A full report will be released at a later date.
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