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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.

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