Seaplane crash site cleared
A RESTRICTION zone of 200m around the Swan River crash site of a seaplane at the Australia Day Skyshow was removed at 9.30am yesterday.
“I can advise that the exclusion zone has been lifted and all wreckage has been recovered,” a Department of Transport spokeswoman said.
Wreckage of the Grumman Mallard is being stored and examined at the Swan River Trust’s riverside compound in Victoria Park, following divers’ searches over the shallow and muddy riverbed.
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) spokesman said the investigation into the crash would take “several months to a year”.
The accident killed pilot Peter Lynch (52) and his girlfriend Endah Cakrawati (30) just after 5pm on the national holiday.
"A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME) and a human factors specialist have arrived from Canberra to join the ATSB team in Perth," an ATSB spokesman said.
“Over the next few days (the investigators) will examine the accident site, interview witnesses, and collect maintenance and pilot records, and air traffic control recorded data.”
Mr Lynch was a devoted pilot and supporter of aviation, but he was concerned about hot weather’s potential impact on the flight when the 1948-built Mallard took off from a Serpentine airfield.
At the Skyshow, the Mallard appeared to stall before nosediving into shallow water between South Perth and Heirisson Island.
In a 2013 interview with Down Under Aviation, Mr Lynch described flying as a boyhood ambition.
“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 the pastime’s social side and airfield fly-ins.
He said the Mallard, on which he had trained for many hours in Florida after purchase, was “a true airborne campervan” that enabled people to walk around its cabin.
Crash witnesses should call the ATSB on 1800 020 616 or email ATSBinfo@atsb.gov.au.