Tragic end for Norwich Park miner
SEARCHERS have confirmed the death of the sole occupant of a single-engine Cessna light aircraft that crashed near Injune.
The family of 49-year-old Roma man and Norwich Park miner Darryl Marsh had been notified late yesterday of the discovery after an intensive land and air search that included parts of the Central Highlands and areas south of Rolleston.
His plane had been missing for more than 24 hours after he left Roma at 2.50pm Wednesday and failed to arrive in Dysart.
He was due to start work at 6am yesterday at the coal mine.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the plane was located at 3.10pm yesterday, more than 24 hours after Mr Marsh left his hometown of Roma.
An AMSA spokeswoman said the crash site was located using triangulation of the man's mobile phone.
A spokeswoman confirmed a number of aircraft in the area had picked up a weak emergency beacon about midday but searchers relied upon mobile phone tower triangulation to pinpoint the location.
She said 11 helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft had been deployed in the search with more than 20 aerial observation crews onboard.
Queensland police and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the crash, the spokeswoman said.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority put the alert out yesterday morning after the plane failed to arrive in Dysart on Wednesday evening.
Emergency Management Queensland regional director for the central region Wayne Hepple said four Emerald-based SES volunteers had assisted in the search.
Bureau of Meteorology weather forecaster Tony Auden confirmed a severe weather warning was issued for the area surrounding Rolleston and the Carnarvon Gorge.
Mr Auden said strong storm conditions were common in the area due to the mountainous terrain, and rainfall was reported in the region from midday on Wednesday.
"Bigger storms developed at about 2pm to 3pm with lightning and the possibility of developing into more severe storm cells with stronger winds and large hail," he said.
He said the recorded 30kmh winds reported were not uncommon or unusual for the region.
An experienced Central Queensland pilot yesterday said it was mandatory for pilots to lodge flight plans with aviation bodies before flying, particularly over mountainous terrain such as the Carnarvon Gorge.
Mr Marsh' daughter Anita Dwyer told APN her father regularly flew himself to work, returning home during his time off.
She said her mother was trying to return from a holiday in Europe upon hearing the news.