"YOU think about it all the time; how things could be different," says Murray Collard, a former teammate of six Victorian footballers who died in one of Tasmania's worst aviation disasters.
"A few people sort of say, `I should have been on that plane or I could have been on that'," he continued.
"We jumped on the earlier one, not to know what would happen afterwards."
Mr Collard said the Launceston Airport crash 20 years ago was "a cruel twist of fate".
"It was not my time," he said. "You think yourself lucky.
"I swore I would never get on a little plane again."
Tuesday marked the two- decade anniversary of the death of Mark Baxter, 31, his brother Lance, 29, Glenn King, 31, Dean Prendergast, 24, Scott Young, 23, and Kevin Connor, 22.
The six men were from the Lyndale Football Club in Melbourne's south-east and were on an end-of-season trip.
A group of 26 people from the club had left Moorabbin Airport in three charter planes.
At 7.45pm on September 17, 1993, a Piper Navajo, which was carrying 10 people, hit power lines as it approached Launceston Airport in bad weather.
The plane caught on fire upon impact and four people survived, including the pilot Roger Rodrigues, who was also a Lyndale club member.
Mr Collard had been on the first plane - the second one crashed - and a problem with the door forced his party to land at Flinders Island.
Police on the island told the men about the incident later that night.
But Mr Collard and his teammates were unaware of the magnitude of the tragedy until they flew into Launceston on a different plane the next day and saw the wreckage.
"I had a glance," he said.
"It's like how you go past an accident and you don't want to look, but you look."
Mr Collard is among a tight- knit group of Lyndale club members, family and friends, who have a drink at their local pub, the Sandown Park Hotel, every September 17 in honour of their fallen mates.
He said he would like to return to Launceston one day.
"The people down there, they did look after us," Mr Collard said.
Former Evandale resident Dianne Rigby and her partner Paul Thompson were among the first people on the scene after the crash.
The couple saw the tragedy unfold as they drove along Evandale Road.
"We ran across the road and down into the paddock where it was," Ms Rigby said.
"It was just natural instinct."
Ms Rigby and Mr Thompson helped to rescue and comfort the survivors.
"Until police told us there were actually six people still in the plane, we had no idea," she said.
The couple visited the injured in hospital and exchanged Christmas cards with some of them for several years afterward.
Ms Rigby said it was "pretty horrible" reliving the disaster for the coroner's inquest.
Coroner Peter Wilson commended the bravery of first respondents including Ms Rigby, Mr Thompson, Thomas Allison, Mark Cubit and Mark Rothwell, as well as emergency services including the Evandale Fire Brigade.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org