Authorities begin plane crash investigation


Authorities have commenced their investigation into what went wrong in Monday’s fatal crash of a vintage plane that killed all six occupants.

Teams from the police and Australian Transport Safety Bureau arrived on the scene today to begin examining the wreckage.

Johnathan Ayre reports.

TRANSCRIPT

It’s a grim task and likely to be a long one.

A disaster victim identification unit was at the crash site this morning, formally identifying the remains of the six people who were onboard the doomed flight.

Mike Keating, Queensland Police Chief Superintendant: “We will today commence our investigation but that’ll be done conjointly with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.”

The vintage De Havilland Dragon ran into trouble about three quarters of the way into its flight from Monto to Caboolture.

The aircraft disappeared into low-lying cloud near Imbil.

Pilot Des Porter then made a radio call for help before contact was lost.

Police say it’s a hard situation on the ground.

Mike Keating, Queensland Police Chief Superintendent: “It’s a difficult environment, a tough scene to deal with, but we’ll work our way methodically through that and do the work we need to do.”

Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau were briefed by police before flying to the crash site.

Graham Drummond, Australian Transport Safety Bureau Senior Investigator: “(We) will be looking at site wreckage, radar and radio recordings, pilot records, aircraft maintenance records and witness and weather information.”

A touching tribute by locals has been set up at the Imbil fire station, where six candles were burned for the people on board and a makeshift sign has been placed.

The tragedy is Australia’s worst air disaster since the 2005 Lockhart River crash, which killed all 15 occupants of the plane.

Jonathan Ayre, QUT News.