Man, woman dead in remote NT plane crash

A search was launched in the NT after the pilot and passenger failed to reach Katherine.

A search was launched in the NT after the pilot and passenger failed to reach Katherine. Photo: AAP

A plane that went missing in the Northern Territory over Christmas has crashed in remote bushland, killing a man and woman.

Police and investigators are working to access the crash scene after a single-engined light aircraft missing in Arnhem Land was located in dense bushland near Bulman.

Federal investigators said the Cessna 210N aircraft collided with terrain and left a debris field scattered over a large distance.

The plane with a 22-year-old male pilot and 43-year-old woman passenger on board was expected to land in Tindal, south-east of Katherine.

NT Police said no further information would be available on Monday due to the remote crash location and the investigation being in its infancy.

The plane left Gove Airport in East Arnhem about 8.30am on Saturday bound for Katherine, 530 kilometres to the south-west.

A search by police, together with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Response Centre, spotted the crashed plane on Sunday afternoon.

The authority said the wreckage with two dead was located about 250 kilometres north-east of Katherine using dedicated search and rescue aircraft from Cairns and Essendon and additional NT-based planes and helicopters.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau also joined the crash investigation on Monday.

“A team of transport safety investigators from the ATSB’s Brisbane and Canberra offices are preparing to deploy to the accident site where they will commence the on-site phase of the investigation,” Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said.

“Given the remote location, the ATSB is liaising with Northern Territory Police to determine the best way for investigators to access the accident site over the coming days.”

The initial ATSB safety investigation will include an examination of the wreckage, assessment of aircraft and pilot records, weather forecasts and observation, and any available recorded data.

It will produce a preliminary report within the next six to eight weeks.


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