Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA30/160 Twin Comanche B, VH-MEM, Nimbin, NSW, 16 August 1973

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 16 August, 1973 a Piper PA30/160 aircraft, registered VH-MEM, crashed into the southern slopes of Mount Neville whilst on a private travel flight from Branxton, New South Wales, to Archerfield, Queensland. The four occupants were killed and the aircraft was destroyed. Examination of the wreckage failed to reveal any evidence of pre-impact structural failure, malfunction of systems, or any mechanical evidence which might have contributed to the accident. At the moment of impact the aircraft was in a climb and the engines were heard at high power immediately prior to impact. The height of the last sighting, the distance travelled and the impact height are in general agreement with the aircraft's normal climb capability. It is apparent, therefore, that the pilot did not appreciate the very dangerous relationship between the aircraft's climb capability and the rising terrain ahead.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 209KB]
General details
Date: 16 August 1973   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0915 EST    
Location: Nimbin    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 07 October 1974   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-30  
Aircraft registration VH-MEM  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Branxton  
Destination Archerfield  
Last update 13 May 2014