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The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has dispatched a team of four investigators and support staff to determine the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident near Benalla, Victoria, on 28 July 2004.

The factual circumstances to hand are that at about 11 am on the 28th of July, a Piper Cheyenne, VH-TNP, en-route Bankstown (NSW) to Benalla (Victoria) with six people on board disappeared from radar about 33km south east of Wangaratta, where weather conditions were low cloud and rain. Airservices Australia will be providing these radar and air traffic control tapes to the Bureau to aid in the investigation.

The Australian Search and Rescue organisation, AusSAR undertook a major search of the area and while hampered by extreme weather conditions located the aircraft wreckage at about 5.50pm. Sadly all six occupants of the aircraft perished in the accident and our sympathies are with family and friends of the victims.

The investigation team is expecting to arrive at the site mid morning today. The team will not be discussing the accident with media at this point in time.

A media conference will be held in the area today , the precise location and time to be advised, where the Investigator in Charge will outline the factual information we have to hand at that point in time. Until further notice all media contact will be with the Bureau's central office, details below.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
 
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Last update 01 April 2011