Pilot's actions in Sydney seaplane crash were 'totally inexplicable

Marsha Scott
February 3, 2018

Mr Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44.

The seaplane that plummeted on New Year's Eve veered off course before it crashed into the Hawkesbury River and left six people dead.

The main body of the 55-year-old de Haviland DHC-2 Beaver, including the engine, the propeller, the floats and the tail, were recovered from Jerusalem Bay earlier this year.

The wreckage from the crash being transported to land for investigation.

The aircraft took more than 10 minutes to completely submerge with "a quantity of fuel observed in the water".

Among the victims was Richard Cousins, the chief executive of FTSE 100 catering company Compass Group.

The seaplane had previously been used as a crop duster.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau today released an interim report into the crash, which killed six people north of Sydney last month.

The pilot was experienced and had flown the authorised route "hundreds of times before", said chief executive Aaron Shaw.

Witnesses said the plane banked about 80 to 90 degrees to the right before crashing at Jerusalem Bay about 3.10pm.

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"A turn of this nature at low altitude by a pilot with Gareth's skills, experience and intimate knowledge of the location is totally inexplicable". Nagy told reporter that the cause of the accident may never be known, says Reuters.

"Firstly, why the pilot turned that way, and then whether it was an attempt to turn around or whether it was a planned turn as well". It was later repaired before re-entering service in 2000.

The aircraft's flaps had been in a "climb" position at the time of the crash.

Police divers helped retrieve nearly all of the wreckage and while the bureau has kept the engine and propeller for further analysis, it was yet to find any problem with the plane.

There is no evidence to suggest the crash was deliberate, it added. He held a valid Commercial Pilot (Aeroplane) Licence.

"It is possible that we are not going to find what happened in that cockpit", said Nagy.

Morgan had medical exams with "a high standard of health" weeks before the incident.

Investigators in Australia said that the aircraft "simply should not have been where it was" and that Mr Morgan performed "inexplicable" manoeuvres prior to the crash.

The plane was not required to have any voice or flight data recorder.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff as it was climbing for a flight south to Sydney following a restaurant lunch.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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