A new report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has revealed a pilot error led to the crash of a small plane that killed all five passengers onboard, including one pilot, last year in Essendon, Australia.

The crash involved a Beechcraft B200 King Air plane, which collided into the roof of a nearby DFO shopping centre shortly after taking off from Essendon Airport.

The accident destroyed the plane and incurred minor injuries to two people on the ground.

According to the final report into the accident, the pilot didn’t notice the rudder trim was set in the wrong direction.

The wrongly placed rudder trim caused the aircraft to turn sharply to the left after taking off and prevented the plane from climbing.

“Checklists are a part of every pilot’s pre-flight risk management plan and are an essential tool for overcoming limitations of the human memory.”

ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood noted that the Essendon accident could have been averted had the pilot followed a cockpit checklist before taking off.

Hood said: “Checklists are a part of every pilot’s pre-flight risk management plan and are an essential tool for overcoming limitations of the human memory.

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“Checklists ensure action items are completed in sequence and without omission. In this particular tragic accident there were opportunities in the checklist that existed for the pilot to ensure the rudder trim was set to neutral prior to take-off.

“Pilots need to carefully consider their decision-making, particularly during critical phases of flight, such as take-off.”

In addition, the ATSB report showed that the pilot had five opportunities in various pre-flight checks to notice the error.