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During the flight the pilot reported that he would descend to cruise at 500 feet above ground level. Witnesses saw an aircraft at low level on the expected track, and others heard aircraft noise and then the sound of an impact. Weather conditions were overcast with low cloud covering the hills. The wreckage was found at an elevation of about 4300 feet above mean sea level. The aircraft had apparently struck the ground while in a steep nosedown attitude and rotating to the right. A fire had broken out and engulfed the wreckage. Investigation did not reveal any defect or malfunction of the aircraft which might have contributed to the development of the accident. Both engines were operating at high power settings and the gear and flaps were up. The aircraft had been operating under the Instrument Flight Rules when the pilot reported his intention to descend. Conditions at the destination were suitable for visual flight, and the reason the pilot elected to proceed at a low height above the ground was not determined. It was likely that while cruising below the cloud, the pilot was suddenly confronted by localised adverse weather conditions in the vicinity of the accident site. The maintenance of control of the aircraft under these conditions should have presented little problem to the pilot, who was suitably qualified to operate in instrument conditions. In these circumstances, the precise sequence of events leading to the evident loss of control of the aircraft could not be established.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 January 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 825  
Location:4 km NW of Ben Lomond Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 26 September 1986 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Rockwell International 
Aircraft model: 685 
Aircraft registration: VH-MML 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Armidale NSW
Departure time:0825
Destination:Glen Innes NSW
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Last update 13 May 2014