This Day in History: 1977-05-26

Cessna 310R VH-ROC crashed at Mount Cataract, QLD on 26 May 1977. The aircraft was on a flight from Julia Creek to Townsville under Visual Flight Rules and near its destination flew into deteriorating weather. Radio contact with the aircraft was lost and search aircraft were alerted shortly afterwards. Soon after 1630 hours, the wreckage of VH-ROC was located on the south-eastern side of Mount Cataract, some 8 km north-east of Thornton Gap and 4 km north of the track bearing 062 magnetic from Thornton Gap to Townsville. The aircraft had struck trees near the crest of the hill on the heading of about 015 in a slightly right wing low attitude, climbing on a 5° gradient. It was severely damaged by contact with the trees and dived steeply to the ground while rolling to the left. Detailed examination of the aircraft did not reveal any evidence of unserviceability or malfunction which might have contributed to the accident. Evidence of persons on the ground in the vicinity of Thornton Gap and the accident site indicates that there was drizzle, rain periods, low cloud and reduced visibility in the area throughout the day. There were 5 fatalities. Sources: ATSB; website