A retired police officer and mum-of-five has been identified as one of two people killed in a shock plane crash in regional South Australia at the weekend.
The mother, along with the 59-year-old pilot Peter Gesler, from Grey Mare in Queensland were found dead in the wreck early in the evening close to the town’s airport.
Police received reports of the crash about 4.5km north-northeast of the airport just before 6.30pm on Saturday. The Brumby 610 aircraft had taken off from William Creek airport at about 4pm that afternoon and crashed into scrubland on its approach to Leigh Creek.
“The pilot, a 59-year-old man from Grey Mare (QLD) and his passenger, a 48-year-old woman from Wynnum (QLD) were killed in the crash,” South Australia Police confirmed.
They later added on Monday morning: “Investigators from Major Crash are at Leigh Creek and will be returning to the crash site at around 8.30am this morning. Police will be preparing a report from the State Coroner.”
According to 7 News, Rachel had been travelling in a second plane as part of sight seeing expedition but had decided to change to Peter’s aircraft just prior to take off to Leigh Creek.
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) July 7, 2019
Both planes reportedly left at the same time but sadly only one landing safely at their destination.
Meanwhile, local caravan park manager Peter Thompson spoke to the ABC about the crash, explaining he had seen the plane just prior to it going down.
“We saw a green light, assuming it was the wing of a plane, to the north of Leigh Creek,” he told the national broadcaster.
“It turned and headed back towards Leigh Creek, then it turned again to head to the airport. There was very little engine noise and next thing we know the emergency services are at the airport.”
Thompson added to Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser: “It’s so terrible people have lost their lives.”