Woolooga farmer discovers wreckage on parents’ property
THE body of a Yandina pilot who went missing at the weekend was found after an extensive search over the North Burnett and Wide Bay.
Rob Pavan, 60, took off from Kybong aerodrome in Gympie about 9.30am on Saturday but failed to reach his intended destination of Balantree Station, near Gladstone. AMSA Search and Rescue was alerted when he failed to arrive and a search began about 4.15pm on Saturday.
Ten helicopters and four planes started searching a 3400 square kilometre area between Gympie and Gladstone, including the North Burnett.
The next day the search increased, with five aircraft and 12 helicopters scouring an area of more than 13,700 square kilometres.
During the search there were hopes the pilot might be alive, and authorities scrambled to locate the plane. But it was a farmer in Woolooga who made the discovery on Monday.
Murray Gear was walking through his parents’ property when he discovered wreckage and could not immediately identify what it was.
Authorities confirmed it was the crash site, and the body of Mr Pavan was discovered the next day.
At just 39km from his take-off, he was not far into his flight when he crashed.
Authorities said there was no way he would have survived the impact.
The debris were found on a 500m high razorback ridge that is difficult to access by foot.
The Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to conduct investigations into the site.
Gympie police inspector Jon Lewis said work would continue on determining the reason for the crash.
“Investigators will then try to locate any pertinent parts of the aircraft which may be able to be used to assist in determining the cause of the crash,” he said.
“The engine and relevant instruments will be examined to see if there is a fault that can be identified.”