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The pilot received a weather briefing before departing Townsville which indicated that the weather enroute was unsuitable for flight under the Visual Flight Rules. After being issued with a clearance to enter Cairns control zone no further transmissions were received from the aircraft and it failed to arrive at Cairns. The wreckage of the aircraft was located in rain forest on the lower southern slopes of the south peak of the Bellenden Ker Range. The weather in the area at the time was reported as low cloud with heavy rain. The pilot was not qualified for flight in other than visual meteorological conditions. Investigation revealed that the aircraft was serviceable prior to impact. Witnesses reported that they observed the aircraft passing in and out of the cloud base, which was at about 800 feet. They saw the aircraft tracking in a northwesterly direction towards high ground which rose to 4000 feet amsl. The wreckage was discovered at an elevation of 680 feet amsl. The pilot was known to have urgent business commitments and this may have influenced his decision to continue the flight in unsuitable weather conditions.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 15 May 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1220 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:5 km West of Babinda Occurrence type:Collision with terrain 
State: Queensland Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 04 September 1985 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-32 
Aircraft registration: VH-PNB 
Type of operation: Business 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Townsville Qld
Departure time:1220
Destination:Cairns Qld
 
 
 
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