Photo Credit: ATSB

Two men have tragically died in a light-plane crash whilst carrying out routine aerial inspections for Essential Energy yesterday afternoon. 

The pilot has been confirmed as a 31-year-old from country Victoria, while the passenger is an 18-year-old from Albury.

The pair died soon after their plane crashed in a paddock near Tallagandra Lane.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators conduct initial site assessment activities

The police have turned the site of the crash to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which will investigate the incident and attempt to explain how the crash occurred.

The plane took off from Canberra Airport at about 1.30pm yesterday and had flown the day before on Monday from Albury to Canberra without a reported incident.

Essential Energy recently released the following statement:

“Essential Energy is aware of an incident that occurred late this afternoon where two people tragically died in a light plane crash. We can confirm that the plane was performing contracted aerial inspections of the Essential Energy electricity network prior to the incident.

Essential Energy’s thoughts remain with the families, friends and colleagues of the two people who died.

Authorities are currently investigating the incident and Essential Energy is providing full support. It would not be appropriate for us to provide any further information while the police investigation is underway.”

There were a number of witnesses which saw the plane flying in the afternoon, with one witness reporting being concerned as early as 2:30pm.

“Very low flying over our house on Brooks Creek lane. At about 2.30pm. Really worried, and called the non-emergency police number. Then I remembered an SMS I had been sent weeks ago from essential energy to advise aerial inspection of power lines will be done in April. We hung up thinking all okay but it was still scary…” commented Gundaroo resident Andrea Fleming.

Another local witness who chose to remain nameless given the sensitivity of the issue, holds a background in the aviation industry and saw the plane closer to the time of the incident and initially thought they were attempting a landing nearby.

“We saw them as we came up Murrumbateman Rd about 4.30 flying super low, banked and turned. My husband remarked that ‘at that altitude and speed it seemed to be a recipe for disaster,’ we are so sad this happened. Thinking of their families,” she commented.

Witnesses are being encouraged to come forward with any information that may help the investigation.

Max O’Driscoll