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Updated: 17 March 2017

After spending an extended period on-site, the ATSB investigation team is now preparing a preliminary investigation report into the tragic accident at Essendon Airport. The time on-site has allowed the team to collect a large volume of evidence from a number of closed-circuit television sites and many witness statements.

The team has also extensively examined the aircraft wreckage. Importantly, with assistance from our colleagues at the United States National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the engine manufacturer, the ATSB was able to disassemble and examine both of the aircraft’s engines.

While the ATSB’s standard practice is to publicly release a preliminary factual report within 30 days of any major accident, the preliminary report release will be slightly delayed due to the extensive on-site activities required for this investigation. It is anticipated that the preliminary report will be released to the public in the week commencing 27 March 2017.



Updated: 24 February 2017

The ATSB investigation team is expected to complete the examination of the accident site today (Friday, 24 February).

A number of components including the aircraft’s engines and propellers have been recovered for detailed examination at Essendon Airport. This will take place into next week.

The team has conducted a number of interviews with witnesses and recovered CCTV footage for further review.

The aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder has been delivered to the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra for download and analysis.

During the next week, the investigation team will review the weather conditions at the time of the accident and process the large amount of witness statements sent in to the ATSB. The ATSB thanks all the witnesses who have submitted their accounts of this tragic accident.

Further updates will be posted as significant information comes to hand.



21 February 2017

The ATSB is investigating the collision with terrain involving B200 King Air registered VH-ZCR at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, on 21 February 2017.

The ATSB has deployed a team of four investigators to the accident site and are expected to arrive on site this afternoon. 

The investigators will assume responsibility for the secured site, once it has been made safe.

The ATSB team consists of four investigators (one from Brisbane, three from ATSB headquarters in Canberra) to work on-site with specialties in:

  • Aircraft mechanical engineering,
  • Operations, and
  • Engineering.

The onsite investigation will involve:

  • examining the site and wreckage
  • gathering recorded data including radio and radar
  • interviewing witnesses.

Witnesses are requested to contact the ATSB on 1800 020 616 or email ATSBinfo@atsb.gov.au.



General details
Date: 21 Feb 2017 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 8:59 ESuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Essendon Airport Occurrence type:Collision with terrain 
State: Victoria Occurrence class: Operational 
 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Pending Highest injury level: Fatal 
Expected completion: Feb 2018  
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Raytheon Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: B200 
Aircraft registration: VH-ZCR 
Serial number: BB-1544 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Essendon, Vic.
Destination:King Island, Tas.
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Last update 17 March 2017