IT IS 20 years since a plane crash at Launceston Airport claimed the lives of six Victorian footballers on an end-of-season trip.
At 7.45pm on Friday, September 17, 1993, a Piper Navajo carrying 10 people hit power lines as it approached Launceston Airport in poor weather conditions.
Three passengers and the pilot survived the crash that saw the plane burst into flames on impact.
It remains one of Tasmania's worst modern-day aviation disasters.
Those killed were: Mark Baxter, 31, his brother Lance, 29, Glenn King, 31, Dean Prendergast, 24, Scott Young, 23, and Kevin Connor, 22.
A party of 26 people associated with the Lyndale Football Club, based in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs, left Moorabbin for the trip in three charter planes.
One plane was forced to land at Flinders Island because of the deteriorating weather at Launceston and arrived the following day.
The third plane landed at Launceston Airport after the accident.
In his report into the accident in July 1995, coroner P. H. Wilson found that the inexperience of pilot Roger Rodrigues contributed to the crash.
Mr Wilson commended several people for their courage and actions in helping the victims immediately after the accident.
Thomas Allison, of Western Junction, Mark Cubit, of Evandale, Paul Thompson, Dianne Rigby and Mark Rothwell all went to the assistance of the victims.
``I should also commend the civil aviation authority rescue and firefighting service which was promptly on the scene and demonstrated a professional and efficient attitude in responding as they did,'' Mr Wilson said.
``. . . the professionalism of all other services attending, including ambulance, police and the Evandale Fire Brigade and their assistance should be greatly acknowledged.''
Family and friends of the footballers gather at the Sandown Park Hotel on the anniversary of the accident in memory of the six footballers who died.