Date & Time: Jan 20, 1972 at 0745 LT
Type of aircraft:
Beechcraft 80 Queen Air
Charter (Non Scheduled Revenue Flight)
Alice Springs - Ayres Rock
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
At approximately 0745 hours Central Standard Time on 20 January 1972, there was an in-flight fire in a Beech 65-80 Queen Air aircraft, registered VH-CMI, which resulted in the separation of the starboard engine and the starboard outer wing. The aircraft subsequently struck the ground some seven miles south-west of Alice Springs Airport in the Northern Territory. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was engaged in operating a charter flight for the purpose of carrying passengers, mail and freight from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock. The aircraft was destroyed by fire and impact forces and the pilot and the six passengers were killed.
The probable cause of the accident was that, following an engine failure which resulted in severe vibration and a fire in the outboard rear section of the engine compartment, the integrity of the firewall and its attached exhaust ducting was lost and structure at the rear of the engine nacelle was thereby exposed to fire.