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On 16 August, 1973 a Piper PA30/160 aircraft, registered VH-MEM, crashed into the southern slopes of Mount Neville whilst on a private travel flight from Branxton, New South Wales, to Archerfield, Queensland. The four occupants were killed and the aircraft was destroyed. Examination of the wreckage failed to reveal any evidence of pre-impact structural failure, malfunction of systems, or any mechanical evidence which might have contributed to the accident. At the moment of impact the aircraft was in a climb and the engines were heard at high power immediately prior to impact. The height of the last sighting, the distance travelled and the impact height are in general agreement with the aircraft's normal climb capability. It is apparent, therefore, that the pilot did not appreciate the very dangerous relationship between the aircraft's climb capability and the rising terrain ahead.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 209KB]
General details
Date: 16 August 1973 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0915 EST  
Location:Nimbin Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 07 October 1974 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-30 
Aircraft registration: VH-MEM 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Branxton
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Last update 13 May 2014