THE search for a plane lost in the Barrington Tops has been given a boost with Prime’s Sunday Night program airing a two-part special on the disappearance.
Reporter Denham Hitchcock spoke to friends and relatives of the crash victims as well as locals who saw the plane on the night it disappeared and aviation enthusiasts who have spent years trying to locate the lost aircraft.
Flight VH-MDX disappeared on the night of August 9, 1981.
Gloucester local Don Readford has spent the better part of a decade trying to determine what happened to the aircraft.
Mr Readford featured on the program and spoke about his belief that the plane crashed somewhere on Scattered Top mountain.
The Sunday Night program brought in a helicopter equipped with a magnetometer to search the area Mr Readford believed was the final resting place of the aircraft, but returned empty handed. Former CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) chairman Dick Smith also featured on the program.
The renowned aviator and entrepreneur was highly critical of the RAAF’s role in the crash.
Mr Smith said he believed the Williamtown RAAF base was partly to blame for the plane’s disappearance as it failed to allow the aircraft to travel through its airspace along the NSW coast, instead forcing it to turn inland from Taree and into bad weather.
He said the rules governing the RAAF airspace still existed today.