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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 166155
Last updated: 21 October 2019
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Date:21-OCT-1978
Time:c. 19:12 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic C182 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 182L
Owner/operator:Ptivate
Registration: VH-DSJ
C/n / msn: 182-58572
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Bass Strait -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Moorabbin, Melbourne (MBW/YMMB), VIC
Destination airport:King Island, TAS
Narrative:
The Valentich disappearance refers to the disappearance of 20-year-old Frederick Valentich while on a 125-mile (235 km) training flight in a Cessna 182L light aircraft over Bass Strait in Australia on 21 October 1978.

Described as a "flying saucer enthusiast", Valentich radioed Melbourne air traffic control that he was being accompanied by an aircraft about 1,000 feet (300 m) above him, that his engine had begun running roughly, and finally reported, "It's not an aircraft."

There were belated reports of a UFO sighting in Australia on the night of the disappearance, however Associated Press reported that the Department of Transport was skeptical a UFO was behind Valentich's disappearance, and that some of their officials speculated that "Valentich became disorientated and saw his own lights reflected in the water, or lights from a nearby island, while flying upside down."

A Department of Transport (DOT) investigation into Valentich's disappearance was unable to determine the cause, but that it was "presumed fatal" for Valentich. Five years after Valentich's plane went missing, an engine cowl flap was found washed ashore on Flinders Island. In July 1983 the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation asked The Royal Australian Navy Research Laboratory (RANRL) about the likelihood that the cowl flap might have "traveled" to its ultimate position from the region where the plane disappeared.

The bureau noted that "the part has been identified as having come from a Cessna 182 aircraft between a certain range of serial numbers" which included Valentich's aircraft.

Sources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance
2. https://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_valentich_disappearance_another_ufo_cold_case_solved
3. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19781023&id=6hFPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hQIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3318,4275388&hl=en
4. http://marvmelb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-disappearance-of-frederick-valentich.html
5. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=19781026&id=3JQzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QDIHAAAAIBAJ&pg=6726,5964289_&hl=en
6. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/truth-was-out-there-after-all/story-e6frea6u-1226419389593
7. http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austcl/VH-DSJ(1).html
8. https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1978/aair/197802563/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
12-May-2014 20:08 Dr. John Smith Added
30-Nov-2018 20:58 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description