Husband, wife die in horror midair plane crash

Major crash at Caboolture airfield kills two

A husband and wife in their 60s are dead and a pilot has escaped without injury after two light planes collided midair in a horrifying crash north of Brisbane.

Police said the planes crashed “quite low to the ground” at the Caboolture aerodrome, north of Brisbane, on Friday morning.

Details were beginning to emerge later on Friday about the crash, which happened about 10.30am.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said a Jabiru J430 – carrying the couple – was taking off, while a Piper Pawnee was landing on the crossing runway.

The male pilot in the Piper was uninjured, but the man and woman died at the scene, the Queensland Ambulance Service said. The pilot was helping police and other authorities with their investigation later on Wednesday.

“It is probably quite lucky when you look at the damage on the ground,” police Superintendent Paul Ready Ready said of the survivor.

Police said they were alerted to the incident by motorists on the adjacent Bruce Highway, who witnessed the crash.

Queensland Ambulance and firefighters responded within minutes to the “significant incident” with paramedics assessing “multiple patients”.

Senior operations supervisor Matthew Davis said a man and woman in their 60s were confirmed dead after their aircraft crashed. Their names are yet to be released.

The other plane landed safely and the pilot, aged about 70, had no significant injuries, he said.

Mr Davis described the scene as “incredibly confronting”.

“Any incident involving the loss of life, particularly under these circumstances extremely, extremely difficult and hard, obviously, for the first responders and most importantly for the family,” he said.

Paramedics will be debriefed and offered counselling.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan confirmed the two fatalities and said a full investigation would be conducted.

“I understand that two people in one plane are deceased,” he said.

“The occupant of the other plane is relatively uninjured.”

Caboolture Airfield caters to general aviation and ultralight aircraft and is not controlled by Airservices Australia.

A spokesman confirmed the aircraft involved were registered and not linked to the gliding club based at the airfield.

The ATSB will investigate the collision, with investigators already at the airfield on Friday.

“Investigators will begin gathering evidence by mapping the accident site examining the aircraft wreckage, interviewing the surviving pilot and witnesses and collecting relevant recorded information such as CCTV and flight-tracking data,” Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said.

-with AAP

Topics: Queensland
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