If Mike had slowed the plane down to ride out the turbulence, it is possible that flight
into the trees could have been quite survivable. It’s all a matter of what hits first.
If the fuselage penetrated the canopy without hitting anything, and the wings took the
impact, the inertia would have been absorbed by them slowing the plane very rapidly,
but not that rapidly to make it unsurvivable.
If this happened, and there were survivors, in the darkness they would not have a clue
as to where they were and which direction to go to get help.
Cessna 210 VH-ESV was dispatched from Williamtown at 8.45 pm and he was up in
the area for quite a while... returning to Williamtown at 10:50 pm
Any survivors would have heard him going through on his way up to the fire near Cherry Tree Road and probably heard him orbiting that fire and known that there was already people out looking for them... so what would you do if you were in their shoes?
I know what I would be doing – preparing to attempt to signal any passing planes to
let them know where you are... wouldn’t you?
The obvious way would be is to start a fire, so by 10.30 pm, or whatever time the fire
was actually seen, would give ample opportunity to drain fuel out of the tanks into
some sort of container to enable a fire in the damp conditions.
In a reply letter to these people who passed this information on to a Search Group,
this is what they were told:
Personally, I think they were getting their ‘wires crossed’ as to which fire and which area they were talking of, as this fire was obviously short lived and so was probably not noticed by the the Nite-Sun equipped Police helicopter as they were not dispatched until a later point (if I remember correctly), but even if they did, as said, they were looking for a “plane wreck” on fire, and if they saw a fire with people near it they probably would have just put it down to someone watching over a controlled burn off... even if the people were waving frantically at them.
If someone does have a record of where all these reported fires were located, I for one would most appreciate a copy!
As shown earlier, if this fire was in the area that Jimmy saw the plane fly into, then
by triangulating these two areas shown from the Lowreys Hill observation, then we
should be able to narrow it down....
The two areas that can be seen from Lowerys Hill are where the yellow outline is, and
just the top of the hill where the red box is, and to date the most likely of the two I
think is the yellow area. You will note I have this yellow area extending above the white shaded area in the event Mike saw at the last moment the ridgeline against the starry sky and attempted to out climb it, or at the least stall on to it.
MDX pg 46