14 April 2021

Pilot and passenger who died in light plane crash identified as Essential Energy contractors

| Hannah Sparks
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Superintendent Paul Condon

Superintendent Paul Condon said the pilot did not release a distress signal before the crash. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

NSW Police have confirmed the pilot and passenger who died in a light plane crash near the ACT border yesterday (13 April) were Essential Energy contractors.

Superintendent Paul Condon of the Hume Police District said the pair were carrying out aerial assessments of high voltage lines before the crash.

The 31-year-old male pilot from country Victoria and an 18-year-old male passenger from Albury were employed by a family business located near Albury which was contracted to Essential Energy.

The pair left Canberra Airport in a Cessna 172 plane at 1:30 pm and were due to return before dark.

However, the plane crashed at about 4:30 pm in a rural paddock on Tallagandra Lane in Sutton. Both men died on impact, Superintendent Condon said.

Superintendent Condon said the pilot did not issue a distress signal before the crash and police remain unsure about what caused the accident.

Police do not believe the plane hit power lines.

Several local people told police they saw the plane seconds before it crashed and they are assisting police with their investigation.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is also investigating the cause of the crash and has taken over the crime scene.

Firefighters attended the site, but there was no fire as a result of the crash.

The bodies have been removed although the wreckage will remain until the ATSB concludes its investigation.

“NSW Police have finished with their crime scene investigations; ATSB will hold that site for as long as it takes to make those necessary inquiries,” Superintendent Condon said.

He said the men’s families and employer had been notified of the men’s deaths.

Superintendent Condon described the scene as “horrific” and said it had been a shock to the families to lose family members so suddenly.

He said a report will be prepared for the coroner, including forensic evidence, photos of the scene, witness statements, information from the aircraft owner and aircraft maintenance reports.

The families are yet to release the men’s names.

Original Article published by Hannah Sparks on The RiotACT.

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