Aviation safety investigations & reports

Beech A23A Musketeer, VH-CFP, Castella Vic, 14 September 1969

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At the time of take-off the weather conditions in the area were a 5/8th cloud coverage with a base of 3, 000 feet; the wind was from the south-west at 10-15 knots and the visibility was 20 miles, reducing to 5 miles in scattered areas of light rain. The pilot, who was restricted to operating in the local training area with which he was familiar, had been briefed to watch for weather deterioration. About half an hour after the aircraft departed, an instructor noticed a squall, 5-6 miles wide, rapidly advancing from the south-west. He made a radio call to the pilot who advised he was three miles north-east of the aerodrome and returning, but he was not seen. A short time later the pilot advised he was heading for the Healesville area to avoid the storm. At about 1100 hours the instructor took off intending to guide the pilot back to the aerodrome but he encountered heavy rain, hail, snow and severe turbulence beneath a cloud base of 700-800 feet. The Musketeer pilot then reported that he was five miles north east at 1, 500 feet and he had "zero visibility" whereupon he was advised to descend on a southerly heading to 1, 000 feet over lowering terrain to where the weather had begun to clear. At about 1125 hours the pilot advised he was heading 120 degrees at 1, 300 feet, which corrected for aerodrome height, is 1, 560 feet AMSL. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it was found a fortnight later on a thickly wooded hillside. There was no evidence to show the aircraft was other than airworthy at the time of the accident.
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General details
Date: 14 September 1969   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1134 EST    
Location: Castella    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 08 October 1970   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 23  
Aircraft registration VH-CFP  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Lilydale Aero  
Departure time 1015  
Destination Lilydale Aero  
Last update 13 May 2014