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Summary

Summary

The pilot, who had only been in the area for four weeks, was carrying out a mail run from Mount Isa to Burketown, via Lorraine, Gregory Downs, Lawn Hill and Hell's Gate. Approaching Burketown the aircraft encountered a duststorm and the pilot became unsure of her position. After searching for some time without being able to find Burketown she flew north to the coast and located what she believed was the mouth of the Nicholson River. From there she intended to proceed to Escott Station, thence to Burketown. The Non Directional Beacon (NDB) at Burketown was unserviceable. The pilot tracked upriver until she saw a station alongside a road. She decided to land to fix her position. During the subsequent landing the left wheel of the aircraft entered a washaway on the road and the gear leg collapsed. It was determined that the pilot had misidentified the particular river. The temperature in the area was over 40 degrees Celsius and one of the passengers had been almost continually airsick since leaving Hell's Gate.

 
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