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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.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 100KB]
General details
Date: 14 September 1969 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1134 EST  
Location:Castella Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 08 October 1970 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
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
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Last update 13 May 2014