Aviation safety investigations & reports

De Havilland DH82A, Tiger Moth, VH-AQL, Flinders Island, Bass Strait, 8 September 1972

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 8 September, 1972, a De Havilland DH82A aircraft registered VH-AQL, disappeared whilst on a private travel flight from Cambridge, Tasmania, to Flinders Island, in Bass Strait. No trace has been found of the aircraft or its occupants. An intense air, sea and land search was conducted over a period of twenty days and the search was continued on a reduced scale for a further twenty-nine days. During this whole period a total of 374 hours 36 minutes were flown by search aircraft and 105 sighting or hearing reports were evaluated. The weight of the evidence indicates that the aircraft proceeded in a northerly direction along the east coast of Tasmania to Eddystone Point where it headed seaward in the direction of Cape Barren and Flinders Islands. The last reported sighting, by a witness at Eddystone Point, indicates that the aircraft was then flying at an altitude of about 2,000 feet and appeared to be operating normally.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 204KB]
General details
Date: 08 September 1972   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: N/A    
Location: Bass Strait    
State: Tasmania   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 29 October 1974   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model DH-82  
Aircraft registration VH-AQL  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Cambridge  
Departure time 1016  
Destination Flinders Island  
Last update 13 May 2014