Crashed air­craft a for­mer In­done­sian po­lice plane

Comment News (Gosnells) - - News -

THE Grum­man G-73 Mal­lard plane that crashed into the Swan River dur­ing Aus­tralia Day fes­tiv­i­ties was built in 1948 and was a for­mer In­done­sian po­lice plane.

The re­stored plane was be­ing flown by Peter Lynch (52) when it crashed just af­ter 5pm on Thurs­day, killing Mr Lynch and his part­ner En­dah Cakrawati.

In a 2013 in­ter­view with Down Un­der Avi­a­tion Mag­a­zine, Mr Lynch de­scribed how he wanted to fly from boy­hood.

“For me fly­ing was about ful­fill­ing a life­long am­bi­tion, be­ing able to get around a big coun­try much quicker and hav­ing fun,” he said.

Af­ter own­ing other air­craft, in­clud­ing a twin-en­gine Co­manche, he wanted the water-land­ing and take-off Grum­man G-73 Mal­lard.

The 12-seater could cope with all his busi­ness and per­sonal fly­ing, in­clud­ing its so­cial side and air­field fly-ins.

He said the Mal­lard, on which he had trained for many hours in Florida when it was pur­chased, was “a true air­borne camper­van” that en­abled peo­ple to walk around its spa­cious cabin.

The ar­rival of the Mal­lard air­craft to the Sport Air­craft Builder’s Club’s (SABC) air­field in Ser­pen­tine caused great ex­cite­ment among its mem­bers.

SABC pres­i­dent Shirley Harding said mem­bers lined up to get in­side.

“It was just beau­ti­ful. I’ve never seen such a lovely air­craft,” she said.

The plane had a glamorous past.

Its first owner was a pri­vate oil com­pany in Jakarta and it served in the In­done­sian Po­lice Force from 1963 to 1975.

Mr Lynch had own­er­ship of the air­craft trans­ferred to his com­pany Thril­lion­air Pty Ltd, housed out of Evan­shead Air­field in Queens­land.

A Grum­man G-73 Mal­lard sea­plane.

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