Australia

Fatal SA plane crash investigation resumes

Wreckage of the Brumby 610 Aircraft at Leigh Creek airport on 6 July. Source: ABC

Investigators will return to the scene of a fatal plane crash in South Australia where a pilot and his passenger, a respected charity worker, died.

An investigation is continuing into a fatal plane crash in outback South Australia that killed a Queensland pilot and his passenger, who was a mother of five and a retired police officer.

Stud farm owner Peter Gesler, 59, of Greymare, and 48-year-old Rachel Whitford of Brisbane died when the Brumby 610 aircraft crashed north of Leigh Creek on Saturday.

The pair had taken off from William Creek about 4pm, flown over Lake Eyre and returned to William Creek to refuel.

They then flew towards Leigh Creek where they crashed on approach to the town's airport, South Australia police said.

The police received reports of a light plane crash in the scrubland just before 6.30pm.

Investigators from Recreational Aviation Australia were at the crash site, 560km north of Adelaide, on Sunday.

According to a statement made by SA police, a temporary air exclusion zone is currently in place with a one-kilometre radius and 1000 foot ceiling until 3.30pm on Monday, unless otherwise advised.

Major Crash have joined the investigation and SA police will be preparing a report for the coroner.

Variety Bash Queensland chief executive Steve Wakerley paid tribute on Facebook to Ms Whitford, a mother of five and retired police officer.

"Rachel was a good friend to many of us," he said.

She dedicated her life to helping young people through her work with Variety, the Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association and the Queensland Police Service, the post said.

"Our thoughts go out to her children, her family and friends, along with her PCYC and police colleagues."

Mr Gesler of Donell Park Stud was a much respected Member of the National Cutting Horse Association, the NCHA Facebook page says.

"Peter's impact on the sports of Campdraft and Cutting has been enormous,' their tribute says.

"With wife Debbie, the Donell Park Stud has produced some of the most legendary horses in both sports, a legacy that will live on for generations."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch