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.