Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Cessna 310R, VH-SGX, Mt Bellenden Ker, 47 Km South-south-east of Cairns Qld, 7 July 1978

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At 1314:47 hours the pilot reported that he was ready to descend and was cleared by Cairns ATC to "descend to 4000 feet, not below DME steps". He was requested to report approaching 4000 feet on descent and to advise his in-flight conditions at that time. The pilot read back "four thousand, not below DME steps" and ATC requested him to confirm that the aircraft's DME had "locked on" again. The pilot replied "affirmative and indicating four niner DME".

At 1326:21 hours Cairns ATC requested the pilot to report DME distance, but there was no reply. Further attempts to establish radio contact with the aircraft were unsuccessful. Search and Rescue action was initiated and at 1625 hours a ground party reported finding the wreckage of the aircraft on the southeastern side of Mt. Bellenden Ker.

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any evidence of unserviceability or malfunction of the aircraft which might have contributed to the accident.

Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 425KB]
General details
Date: 07 July 1978   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1321 EST    
Location: Mt Bellenden Ker, 47 Km South-south-east of Cairns    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 23 July 1980   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Last update 13 May 2014