Investigation number
196902375
Occurrence date
Location
Castella
Report release date
Report status
Final
Investigation type
Occurrence Investigation
Investigation status
Completed
Aviation occurrence type
Collision with terrain
Occurrence category
Accident
Highest injury level
Fatal

At the time of take-off the weather conditions in the area were a 5/8th cloud coverage with a base of 3, 000 feet;
the wind was from the south-west at 10-15 knots and the visibility was 20 miles, reducing to 5 miles in scattered
areas of light rain. The pilot, who was restricted to operating in the local training area with which he was
familiar, had been briefed to watch for weather deterioration. About half an hour after the aircraft departed, an
instructor noticed a squall, 5-6 miles wide, rapidly advancing from the south-west. He made a radio call to the
pilot who advised he was three miles north-east of the aerodrome and returning, but he was not seen. A short
time later the pilot advised he was heading for the Healesville area to avoid the storm. At about 1100 hours the
instructor took off intending to guide the pilot back to the aerodrome but he encountered heavy rain, hail, snow
and severe turbulence beneath a cloud base of 700-800 feet. The Musketeer pilot then reported that he was five
miles north east at 1, 500 feet and he had "zero visibility" whereupon he was advised to descend on a southerly
heading to 1, 000 feet over lowering terrain to where the weather had begun to clear. At about 1125 hours the
pilot advised he was heading 120 degrees at 1, 300 feet, which corrected for aerodrome height, is 1, 560 feet
AMSL. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it was found a fortnight later on a thickly wooded hillside.
There was no evidence to show the aircraft was other than airworthy at the time of the accident.

Aircraft Details
Departure point
Lilydale Aero
Destination
Lilydale Aero
Model
23
Registration
VH-CFP
Operation type
Private
Damage
Destroyed
Manufacturer
Beech Aircraft Corp
Departure time
1015