The son of one of five men killed in a plane crash near Lockhart River says a preliminary report into the tragedy has assuaged his family’s worst-held fear.
The son of one of five men killed in a plane crash near Lockhart River says a preliminary report into the tragedy has assuaged his family’s worst-held fear.

Family’s relief over plane crash investigation report

THE son of one of five Cairns men killed in a plane crash near Lockhart River says the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's preliminary report into the tragedy has assuaged his family's worst-held fear.

Jake Ganter, son of Wayne Ganter who was on board the Cessna 404 Titan which crashed into sand dunes near Lockhart River in March, received the report at the end of last week before it was released to the public, along with others related to the victims.

Wayne, 63, was killed alongside Henry Roebig, Wayne Brischke, Mark Rawlings and pilot Stuart Wavell in the crash.

Wayne Ganter, who was one of five people killed in a plane crash on Wednesday March 11, 2020. The plane was trying to land at the Lockhart River Airport. Picture Facebook
Wayne Ganter, who was one of five people killed in a plane crash on Wednesday March 11, 2020. The plane was trying to land at the Lockhart River Airport. Picture Facebook

Mr Ganter, who has been liaising with authorities on behalf of his family, said the main finding he wanted to get was whether or not passengers had known they were about to crash.

"From all reports, it seems like the plane was behaving the way it should, there were a few things about the approach that was questionable, but it doesn't look like there were any major technical issues," he said.

Flight track of VH-OZO during first RNAV (GNSS) approach at Lockhart River Aerodrome. PICTURE: ATSB
Flight track of VH-OZO during first RNAV (GNSS) approach at Lockhart River Aerodrome. PICTURE: ATSB

"The main thing I wanted to get from it, especially to share with my mum, sisters and other family, was that there was no panicking, no mayday, no mid-air catastrophe. It was one of those accidents that just happened."

Mr Ganter said the family could take some closure knowing that his father had likely died instantly without fearing for his life.

 

A VH-OZO instrument panel. PICTURE: ATSB
A VH-OZO instrument panel. PICTURE: ATSB

"It's a pretty harrowing situation to deal with, and you don't want your friends and family to think about them fearing for their life," he said.

"I've seen the photos my old man put up on Facebook from the plane, saying they'd missed the runway and were about to have another crack at landing.

Image recorded by a passenger looking forward over the right engine and sent via text message at 9.03am before the Lockhart River crash. PICTURE: ATSB
Image recorded by a passenger looking forward over the right engine and sent via text message at 9.03am before the Lockhart River crash. PICTURE: ATSB

"It seems like they were waiting for the weather to clear and then it happened.

"I think the authorities looking after it have done a good job on all fronts, I've got no issue with how they've handled the investigation, and liaising with us."

Mr Ganter said he wanted to try and organise a memorial for the victims in Cairns.

Originally published as Family's relief over Lockhart River plane crash report


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