A husband and wife were tragically killed in a midair collision between two light planes at Caboolture Airfield in Australia. David Maddern was piloting the Jabiru J430 aircraft with his wife Jan as a passenger when the collision occurred. The incident took place low to the ground at the eastern end of the airfield between the Jabiru and a Piper Pawnee that was landing on a crossing runway. The pilot of the Pawnee survived the collision. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is conducting an investigation into the incident and has appealed for witnesses and video footage. Patrick Staveley reported
Tragic Collision Claims Lives of Husband and Wife in Light Plane Crash
Identified as David Maddern and Jan Maddern, the couple was involved in a midair collision while David piloted the Jabiru J430 aircraft and Jan took the passenger seat. The collision occurred around 10:30 am and tragically ended their lives.
According to reports, the collision took place at a low altitude near the eastern end of the airfield. The Jabiru had just taken off from one runway, while a Piper Pawnee was in the process of landing on a crossing runway. The husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) deployed investigators from Brisbane, with additional support on its way from Canberra. The pilot of the Piper Pawnee survived the collision and is assisting authorities with their investigations.
The ATSB stated, “The collision occurred shortly after 10:30 am local time when a Jabiru J430 was taking off from one runway while a Piper Pawnee was landing on a crossing runway. Tragically, both occupants of the Jabiru were fatally injured. The Pawnee pilot was uninjured.”
The survivor, the pilot of the Piper Pawnee, is currently being interviewed by the police as part of the ongoing investigation into this tragic incident.
Matthew Davis, Operations Supervisor at Queensland Ambulance Service, expressed his shock, describing the incident as “incredibly confronting”.
In aerial footage captured by Nine News helicopters, a significant emergency response can be seen at the crash site, including personnel from the police, paramedics, and firefighters.
Debris from the collision was scattered across the airfield, with one aircraft heavily damaged, appearing to be on its side. Another plane with a damaged wing was parked on the side of the runway.
Following the collection of relevant information, examination of the wreckage, and gathering of evidence from the site, the ATSB plans to release a preliminary report on the incident. They have urged anyone who witnessed the accident or has video footage of the aircraft at any stage of their flights to come forward and provide information through the witness form on their website.
A comprehensive final report will be published upon the conclusion of the investigation. This report will detail the contributing factors to the collision and any identified safety issues arising from the incident.