Ian Baldwin died during the ultralight plane crash.
Ian Baldwin died during the ultralight plane crash. Contributed

Hard-working father dies in crash

THE Central Highlands is today mourning the loss of cancer survivor Ian Baldwin – a hard worker and loved father and grandfather.

The community was saddened yesterday by news authorities had found the wreckage of a two-seat ultralight plane containing the bodies of two men in bushland on a property 4km east of Emerald.

The identity of the second victim, 60, was not known at the time of going to print last night.

Emergency services spent most of yesterday searching for the plane.

It had taken off from Emerald about 3pm on Wednesday and police were called at 6.30pm when it failed to return.

Frantic calls to the mobile phones of the men went unanswered.

Yesterday, at 1.50pm, crewmen on the RACQ CQ Rescue Service chopper found the wreckage.

It was only 4.8km from the airport it had taken off from on what police described as a pre-sale familiarisation flight.

Mayor Peter Maguire yesterday paid tribute to Ian, a former Central Highlands Council employee, 56.

“A lot of people knew Ian. He was a hard-working guy who will be sadly missed,” Cr Maguire said.

“He started his career in local government in Alpha and worked in the former Emerald and Bauhinia shires and then the Central Highlands council when the amalgamation happened.

“He is survived by his wife, Michelle, his two children and three grandchildren.

“Ian was a cancer survivor. He would have been involved in Relay for Life on the weekend.

“He fought that battle and still continued working as well, with support from his family and friends.

“This is more than the loss of a former employee for us, Ian was a work colleague and a friend to many people,” Cr Maguire said.

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