The aircraft was one of a group attending a vintage aircraft fly-in. It had been engaged on a photographic flight in company with another aircraft, in an area west of the Hunter River. During the return to the strip, the two aircraft became separated. The subject aircraft was observed to descend to a low height over the river, while apparently tracking for a right base leg position. It subsequently collided with powerlines and trees before falling to the ground about 1.5 kilometres from the strip. The powerlines consisted of three cables strung on individual poles. The span which crossed the river was about 645 metres in length, and the height of the cables at the point of collision was 35 metres above the river level. The weather at the time was fine, with no restrictions to visibility. However, the wires were difficult to see against the background, and the pilot had not been aware that there were any powerlines in the vicinity.