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On 17 November 2007, the owner-pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company C337G (Skymaster), registered VH-CHU, was conducting a private flight in accordance with the visual flight rules (VFR) from Moorabbin Airport, Vic. to Merimbula, NSW. The pilot, who was accompanied by three passengers, had indicated that he would be tracking along the coast. The aircraft did not arrive at Merimbula and on 19 November 2007 aircraft wreckage and three of the deceased occupants were found on a beach between Venus Bay and Cape Liptrap, Vic. Wreckage was found on the beach and in the sea off the beach. There were no survivors.

The investigation found that while manoeuvring over water at low level in conditions of reduced visibility, the pilot probably became spatially disorientated and inadvertently descended into the water. A contributing factor was the pilot's lack of instrument flying qualification and minimal instrument flying training and experience.

While not a contributing safety factor, the aircraft was probably operated outside its specified weight and balance limits in the early stages of the flight, which had the potential to adversely affect the aircraft's performance and controllability. The operation of visual flight rules flights into instrument meteorological conditions (VFR into IMC) continues to be a significant risk factor in general aviation, but there are a number of countermeasures which can be used to reduce the risk.

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Download Preliminary Report
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Preliminary report released 27 April 2008

On 17 November 2007, the owner-pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company C337G (Skymaster), registered VH-CHU, was conducting a private flight in accordance with the visual flight rules from Moorabbin Airport, Vic. to Merimbula, NSW. The pilot, who was accompanied by three passengers, had indicated that he would be tracking along the coast. The aircraft did not arrive at Merimbula and on 19 November 2007 aircraft wreckage and three of the deceased occupants were found on a beach between Venus Bay and Cape Liptrap, Vic. Some wreckage was later found in the sea, off the beach. There were no survivors.

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General details
Date: 17 November 2007 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: Unknown ESuT  
Location   (show map):24 km SE Inverloch Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 05 January 2009 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 337 
Aircraft registration: VH-CHU 
Serial number: 33701773 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Moorabbin, Vic
Departure time:1211
Destination:Merimbula, NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Pilot-in-CommandPrivate10
 
Injuries
 CrewPassengerGroundTotal
Fatal: 1304
Total:1304
 
 
 
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Last update 14 November 2018