Two killed after Socata TB Trinidad crashes into mountainous area in Australia

Pioneer Valley Australia plane crash
Mark Higgins /

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has launched an investigation after a Socata TB Trinidad crashed into mountainous terrain, killing both people on board.  

The 73-year-old man and 75-year-old woman are believed to be a married couple who took off from Townsville, Australia and were due to arrive in Palymra. 

Queensland Police said just before 9am local time on October 28, 2023, officers were contacted by a community member in Finch Hatton regarding an aircraft crash and a rescue helicopter was deployed.  

At around 11:30 am the rescue helicopter located the plane wreckage in Pioneer Valley from the air. 

Transport safety investigators from the ATSB’s Brisbane office are travelling to the wreckage on October 29, 2023, to carry out evidence collecting.  

According to the ARSB, investigators will, “collect and examine relevant evidence including analyzing imagery from the accident site, interviewing involved parties, reviewing relevant weather data, obtaining pilot and aircraft maintenance records, and downloading any flight tracking data”. 

A member of the rescue unit had to be winched down to the wreckage due to the plane crashing in an area difficult to access on foot.    

It is understood that the deceased man owned the Socata TB Trinidad single-engine light aircraft and had been a qualified pilot for 30 years.  

The ATSB anticipates publishing a preliminary report in approximately six to eight weeks and has asked anyone who may have witnessed or heard the aircraft in any phase of its flight to contact it.  

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