Accident Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair VH-DEW, Friday 4 January 1974
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Date:Friday 4 January 1974
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE33 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair
Owner/operator:Wright Air Taxis Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-DEW
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:1.4 Km N of Barkly Downs Homestead, QLD -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Boulia, Queensland (BQL/YBOU)
Destination airport:Mount Isa, Queensland (YBMA)
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At approximately 20:20 hours EST on 4 January, 1974 a Beech 35/C33A "Debonair" aircraft, registered VH-DEW, struck the ground in conditions of heavy rain and darkness some 1400 metres north of Barkly Downs homestead, Queensland.

On board the aircraft were the pilot, Ian Fraser Smith and three passengers, Cheryl Margaret Manners, Elsie May Miller and Lionel Sapsford Paulus. The aircraft was destroyed in the accident and all the occupants were killed.

Examination of the wreckage subsequently established that the aircraft had struck the ground on a south-westerly heading, at high speed in a 20 to 30 degrees nose down attitude and while slightly banked to the right.

The aircraft had broken up on impact and the wreckage trail extended about 137 metres beyond the point of initial ground contact. There was no evidence of any pre-impact structural failure, defect or malfunction which could have contributed to the accident

ATSB Conclusion:
The cause of the accident was that the pilot, when faced with a situation of deteriorating weather and approaching darkness, persisted in his attempt to reach Mount Isa when alternative actions to effect a safe landing elsewhere were available to him

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
15-Apr-2014 20:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Apr-2014 20:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
22-Apr-2014 21:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]
09-Jun-2022 12:01 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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