Crash of a Rockwell Aero Commander 685 in the Bass Strait: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 17, 1983 at 1505 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-WJC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Hobart - Melbourne
MSN:
685-12005
YOM:
1972
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On 17 July 1983 the pilot of Rockwell (Aero Commander) 685 aircraft VH-WJC submitted a flight plan to the Hobart Briefing Office for a private category flight from Hobart to Moorabbin, tracking via Launceston and Wonthaggi. The plan indicated that the flight would be conducted under the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) at Flight Level 120 (12 000 feet altitude on standard atmospheric pressure of 1013.2 millibars), with two persons on board. The flight plan showed that the aircraft had a fuel endurance of 220 minutes, and carried an Emergency Locator Beacon (ELB) and life jackets. There was no indication that a life raft was carried. The aircraft departed Hobart at 1352 hours and, thereafter, the pilot made the appropriate radio reports to Hobart Tower, Launceston Control and Launceston Tower. The flight apparently progressed normally until 1452 hours when the pilot advised Launceston Control, "Er Whiskey Juliet Charlie we seem to have been in trouble with er fuel here the red er warning light comes on and the gauge is down . . .".At 1454 hours the pilot transmitted a Mayday call, indicating that he was descending from Flight Level 120 on track to Bass (a position reporting point), present position was 85 nautical miles (nm) from Launceston and he would be making a controlled ditching. Launceston Control immediately initiated the Distress phase of the Search and Rescue procedures and advised the Melbourne Operational Control Centre (OCC). Further communications between the aircraft and Launceston Control indicated that the aircraft was continuing descent on track towards Wonthaggi. The last position report from the pilot, at 1500 hours, was 94 nm from Wonthaggi. The last recorded transmission from the aircraft was at 1501 hours when the pilot confirmed that there were two persons on board. There were no indications at any time from the pilot that the fuel supply had been exhausted or that either engine had failed. It was estimated that the aircraft ditched at about 1505 hours, at an approximate position of 81 nm from Wonthaggi on the planned track. No trace of the aircraft nor both occupants was found.
Probable cause:
Due to lack of evidences, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson I into Bass Strait: 5 killed

Date & Time: Jul 6, 1943
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-32
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sale - Sale
MSN:
414-1883
YOM:
1940
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The aircraft took off at 1944LT to carry out practice DR9. This practice was a night flight from Base-Flinders-Currie-Hogan Group-Base. The aircraft was on wireless silence and failed to return. The maximum endurance of the aircraft was 7 hours. The aircraft failed to return and all searches have proved negative.
Crew:
P/O John James Bowman, pilot,
P/O Alan Joseph Malone, navigator,
P/O Harry Robert Alfred Guymer, wireless operator and air gunner,
P/O Alexander Frederick McDonald, wireless operator and air gunner,
P/O John Alexander Buchanan, air gunner.
Source: http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/

Crash of a De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide into the Bass Strait: 4 killed

Date & Time: May 29, 1942
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UXZ
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne - Flinders Island
MSN:
6365
YOM:
1937
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The aircraft christened 'Marika' was performing a schedule flight from Melbourne to the Flinders Island. En route, while cruising over the Bass Strait, an engine failed. The pilot attempted to ditch the aircraft that crashed into the sea and was lost. SAR operations were suspended after few days as no trace of the aircraft nor the occupant was found. An engine was eventually found fifty years later.
Probable cause:
Engine failure may be caused by fuel starvation.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.86 in Bass Strait: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 2, 1935 at 0955 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-URT
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sydney – Melbourne – Launceston – Hobart
MSN:
2312
YOM:
1935
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
While cruising over Bass Strait, between Tasmania and Australia, the four engine aircraft christened 'Loina' went out of control and crashed into the sea, some 3 km off Flinders Island. All five occupants were killed.
Crew:
Arthur Evans, pilot,
Maxwell Brown, copilot.
Passengers:
G. S. Anderson,
G. Garlick,
Edward Best.
Probable cause:
It was determined that VH-URT had gone into an uncontrollable spin, and three possible precipitating factors were: a loss of control after a power plant failure, the fouling of the tail surfaces while the trailing aerial was being reeled in or a structural failure. There was also evidence of a small fire in the rear of its cabin, which may have occurred before the crash, but this probably did not factor in the accident. And in view of two fatal accidents and other difficulties with the type, Australia would subsequently suspend the certificate of airworthiness of the De Havilland 86.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.86 in Bass Strait: 11 killed

Date & Time: Oct 19, 1934
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-URN
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Launceston – Melbourne
MSN:
2301
YOM:
1934
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
9
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
11
Circumstances:
While overflying Bass Strait, the four engine aircraft christened 'Miss Hobart' crashed in unknown circumstances some 10 miles off the coast of the Wilsons Promontory National Park. SAR teams found some debris and oil leak at the surface of water a day later but no trace of the occupants was ever found. Captain V. Holyman, who was among the missing, was the pilot and co-founder of the airliner.
Probable cause:
The cause of the crash could not be determined. However, one of the recommendations made by the accident investigative commission was to prohibit the changing of pilots in an aircraft while in flight, since one theory into the disappearance of VH-URN pointed to a loss of control resulting from such action by the crew.