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Frederick Valentich

Who: 

Frederick Valentich 

Total Persons on Board:

One

When:

The evening of October 21st, 1978

Weather:

At Cape Otway - Clear with stratocumulus at 5,000 to 7,000 feet, & cirrus clouds at 30,000 feet.

Flight Route:

From Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, to King Island, Tasmania.

Area Believed Crashed:

The Bass Strait

Reason for flight:

Personal Travel

Type Plane:

Cessna 182-L, registered as VH-DSJ, and owned by SAS Southern Air Services

Search efforts: 

For four days, an intensive air, sea and land search commended - until 25 October 1978, but no trace of the aircraft, or its pilot, was ever found.

Controversy, Theories, and other Trivia: 

Prior to his disappearance, Valentich reported via radio that he had encountered an unidentified craft flying at high speed dangerously close to his Cessna, that later hovered over his aircraft.

An official Department of Transport (DOT) investigation was launched into Valentich's disappearance. It lasted two weeks but was unable to determine the cause. DOT findings on the incident read "The reason for the disappearance of the aircraft has not been determined", and that it was "presumed fatal" for Valentich.

A plaque was placed in the grounds of the Cape Otway light station near the weather station there.

 

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