A husband and wife are dead following a plane crash at Mundubbera.
A husband and wife are dead following a plane crash at Mundubbera. Sue Harris

Doctors killed in plane crash

COLLEAGUES and friends have paid tribute to two locum doctors who died when their light aircraft crashed into fields near Mundubbera Airport yesterday.

Dr Dan Rainolds, 48, and his partner Dr Myrthe Runne, 37, were killed instantly when their Bede BD-4 plane crashed into the grounds of the Small Bore Rifle Club soon after taking off at 7.30am, and burst into flames on impact.

Yugoslavia-born Dr Rainolds and Netherlands-born Dr Runne were both contracted to work in Monto until June next year, but were believed to be heading back to their home in Warwick for a few weeks break.

Work colleagues at Monto Family Practice and Central Queensland Rural Division of General Practice paid tribute to the dedicated medicos.

"Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to their family and loved ones," a spokeswoman for the practice said.

"They will be sadly missed."

Monto pilot John MacElroy said the pair had both been avid flyers - Dr Rainolds was a general aviation pilot and Dr Runne a recreational pilot.

"They were very, very nice people - they will be a great loss to the community," he said.

Mr MacElroy said he first met the friendly couple when they flew into Monto about three weeks ago.

"We organised a shed for his aeroplane - that's how we got to know them," he said.

"He loved to fly and he had big plans of flying to Europe. They're all gone now."

Mr MacElroy said both doctors had died "doing what they loved".

Health Workforce Queensland chief executive officer Chris Mitchell said his team were extremely saddened by the deaths of "two fine rural and remote doctors".

"Dr Dan was a very active locum for the agency for many years, and he provided an excellent service to a number of rural towns during this time," he said.

"Dr Myrthe Runne was recruited to work in Cloncurry and she enjoyed the clinical work, the warm sun and friendliness of the community, as well as the wide open spaces of western Queensland."

The Health Workforce's publication, Heart of the Bush, featured two separate interviews with the doctors, who spoke of their passion for their work in regional and remote communities.

During her interview, Dr Runne professed her love for adventure and her career.

"Because you know your patients well, you can really make a difference and that is the main reason I have become a GP, and I hope that goes for most of us," she told the journal.

In his interview, Dr Rainolds said he had been globetrotting since he was 13, and spoke of Australia's "fresh spirit of prosperity and fun that one can see in the old and nostalgic videos of the Beach Boys' concerts in the '60s".

Police would not comment in detail on the incident yesterday, except to say the result of their investigations would be given to the Coroner.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau told the NewsMail it would not be investigating.

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