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At 1629 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 19 February 2004, an Aero Commander 500-S (Shrike) aircraft, registered VH-LST (LST), commenced taxying at Hobart for a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) ferry flight to Devonport. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, reported a departure time of 1643 to air traffic control, with an intention to climb to 8,500 ft and to fly a track of 319 degrees magnetic.

Due to following traffic, the pilot was required to report leaving specific altitudes. At 1646, the pilot reported leaving 4,500 ft, and was advised that air traffic services were terminated. The acknowledgement of that call was the last communication heard from the pilot.

At about 1800, the operator’s staff at Devonport advised the Hobart base that the aircraft had not arrived. The operator advised AusSAR and the Hobart air traffic control tower, and organised company search aircraft from both Hobart and Devonport. The non-flying occupant of the Hobart search aircraft sighted the wreckage at about 1930 (see Figure1). Shortly after, a search and rescue helicopter arrived at the accident site. The pilot of the aircraft was found fatally injured in the wreckage.

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General details
Date: 19 February 2004 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1700 hours ESuT  
Location   (show map):58 km NNW Hobart, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Tasmania Occurrence type: In-flight break-up 
Release date: 19 December 2005 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Aero Commander 
Aircraft model: 500 
Aircraft registration: VH-LST 
Serial number: 3111 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Hobart, TAS
Departure time:1643 ESuT
Destination:Devonport, TAS
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Fatal: 1001
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Last update 13 May 2014