Double-fatal plane wreckage lifted from Port Phillip

Tragic pilot Stephen Gale takes a passenger aloft several years before his last ill-fated flight.

Tragic pilot Stephen Gale takes a passenger aloft several years before his last ill-fated flight. Photo: X/Anthony Carbines

The wreckage of a former military jet that crashed and killed two people has been recovered from Port Phillip Bay.

The four-metre fuselage was hauled out of the water by a crane and taken back to shore by barge on Saturday morning.

Stephen Gale, 56, and cameraman James Rose, 30, went down in one of two Viper S-211 Marchetti planes on Sunday during a formation flight.

They were filming a Jetworks Aviation promotional video about 12km west of Mount Martha when the planes collided.

The second aircraft was able to land safely.

Victoria Police confirmed on Wednesday the bodies of Mr Gale and Mr Rose had been found after crews located the wreckage of their plane off Mornington.

Mr Gale, a highly experienced flyer, owned Jetworks Aviation, an Essendon Fields-based business created for the yet-to-air TV documentary Any Fool Can Fly.

‘Inventor, adventurer, heart of gold’

Earlier this week comedian and media personality Tommy Little penned a tribute to Mr Gale, who was his mentor.

Little was among student pilots to be featured in the series about a group of high achievers attempting to master flying, aerobatics and formation.

The comedian remembered Mr Gale, a former Royal Australian Air Force member, as one of his closest mates and sidekick in the sky.

“An inventor, an adventurer and a heart of gold. He was a real life Tony Stark but with a flying suit instead of an iron one. His love for aviation was unparalleled,” Little wrote on Facebook.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will now examine the plane.

Police are investigating the cause of the collision.


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