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On Friday 11 June 1993, at about 1918 EST, Piper PA31-350 Navajo Chieftain aircraft, VH-NDU, while on a right base leg for a landing approach to runway 01 in conditions of low cloud and darkness, struck trees at a height of 275 feet above the elevation of the aerodrome at Young, New South Wales, and crashed. The aircraft, which was being operated as Monarch Airlines flight OB301 on a regular public transport service from Sydney to Young, was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. All seven occupants, including the two pilots, suffered fatal injuries.

The investigation found that the circumstances of the accident were consistent with controlled flight into terrain. Descent below the minimum circling altitude without adequate visual reference was the culminating factor in a combination of local contributing factors and organisational failures. The local contributing factors included poor weather conditions, equipment deficiencies, inadequate procedures, inaccurate visual perception, and possible skill fatigue. Organisational failures were identified relating to the management of the airline by the company, and the regulation and licensing of its operations by the Civil Aviation Authority.

During the investigation a number of interim safety recommendations were issued by the Bureau. The recommendations and responses are summarised in Section 4 of this report.

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