This Day in History: 1993-06-11

Piper PA31-350 Navajo Chieftain VH-NDU of Monarch Airlines crashed at Young, NSW on Friday 11 June 1993. The aircraft struck trees at a height of 275 feet above the elevation of the aerodrome at Young at about 1918 EST while on a right base leg for a landing approach to runway 01 in conditions of low cloud and darkness. The aircraft, which was being operated as Monarch Airlines flight OB301 on a regular public transport service from Sydney to Young, was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. All seven occupants, including the two pilots, suffered fatal injuries. The ATSB investigation found that the circumstances of the accident were consistent with controlled flight into terrain. Descent below the minimum circling altitude without adequate visual reference was the culminating factor in a combination of local contributing factors and organisational failures. The local contributing factors included poor weather conditions, equipment deficiencies, inadequate procedures, inaccurate visual perception, and possible skill fatigue. Organisational failures were identified relating to the management of the airline by the company, and the regulation and licensing of its operations by the Civil Aviation Authority. The destruction of the regional airliner revealed widespread shortcomings at the heart of Australia’s regulatory system. Sources: ATSB, website