Three Adelaide men killed in a light plane crash in South Australia’s Riverland region have been remembered as well-respected and experienced pilots.
Their plane crashed on Tuesday afternoon and a search party found the wreckage around 4km west of the Renmark Aerodrome, northeast of Adelaide, that evening.
Charter flight company Rossair owned the Cessna Conquest aircraft and has confirmed its Chief Pilot Martin Scott, 48, and returning pilot Paul Daw, 65, were on board.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority inspector Stephen Guerin, 56, was also on the plane observing the flight as part of the authority’s routine safety work.
Rossair says the flight was for training purposes as Mr Daw, who had more than 40 years experience as a pilot, was rejoining its team.
He was just days off stepping down as Chief Pilot at Adelaide’s Bruce Hartwig Flying School in order to take on the role.
The school said it was deeply saddened by the death of the “well-known, highly experienced and respected senior pilot”.
“We will all miss our dear friend and valued colleague,” it posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
Rossair also paid tribute to Mr Daw and Mr Scott, noting the latter had helped the charter company to expand.
“The role of any chief pilot in an aviation organisation is one that requires leadership, mentoring and robust flying skills – and Martin delivered on all those accounts,” the company’s executives said in a statement.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said Mr Guerin would be remembered by his colleagues as “passionate about aviation, meticulous about safety and widely respected”.
“He was active in community service and known as a ‘true gentleman’,” the authority said in a statement.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators have travelled to the Riverland from Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney to piece together what happened when the plane crashed during a return flight from Adelaide to the SA Riverland.