Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Cessna 404, VH-OZO, Lockhart River, Queensland, on 11 March 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a collision with terrain involving Cessna 404, VH-OZO, 7 km south-east of Lockhart River Aerodrome, Queensland on 11 March 2020.

The aircraft collided with terrain at about 0944. A search conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Queensland Police located the aircraft wreckage on a beach south-east of the aerodrome. The five occupants on board were fatally injured.  

ATSB transport safety investigators with experience in aircraft operations, aircraft maintenance and aeronautical engineering have been deployed to the accident site.

On site, investigators will examine the wreckage and site surrounds, including with the use of a 3D mapping drone. The ATSB will also analyse available recorded data, review weather information, and interview witnesses.

A preliminary report will be released in about a month after the on-site investigation phase, while the investigation’s final report can be expected to be released in about 18 months’ time.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant stakeholders so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

Any witnesses who may have seen the aircraft are asked to contact the ATSB via its website www.atsb.gov.au/witness or by calling 1800 992 986.

General details
Date: 11 March 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0944 AEST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 7 km SE of Lockhart River Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2021    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 404  
Aircraft registration VH-OZO  
Serial number 404-0653  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Cairns, Queensland  
Destination Lockhart River, Queensland  
Last update 12 March 2020