Plane crash victim had huge passion for flying

The site of a single engine plane crash in Wooderson, west of Calliope, Queensland, on Wednesday morning.
The site of a single engine plane crash in Wooderson, west of Calliope, Queensland, on Wednesday morning.

NEIGHBOURS have paid tribute to a Wooderson man who died in a plane crash 25km west of Calliope on Wednesday.

Laurie Schmidt's single-engine light plane crashed in his neighbour's property on Wednesday morning.

Mr Schmidt was a retired cattle grazier whose death has left the Wooderson community in shock.

Believed to be in his 70s, Mr Schmidt had a passion for flying and had his own landing strip on his Potters Rd property.

Keith Shield said he had been neighbours with Mr Schmidt for four years.

"You couldn't fault the old fella," he said. "Couldn't ask for anything more from a bloke."

Mr Shield said he saw a fire on his neighbour's property, and the neighbours were finding it tough dealing with Mr Schmidt's death.

"They were a lot closer and had known him for longer. It's not a very nice day," he said.

"Every so often you would see him up in the air zooming around. It was just his passion."

Another neighbour said it was sad for his whole family.

"I didn't know he was into flying until a few years ago," the neighbour said.

"He has a son who works out on a cattle station and I believe that's where he got the flying bug."

Gladstone police inspector Darren Somerville said there was still little known about the cause of the crash.

"It's still early in the investigation. We are unsure what type of plane other than it's a single-engine light plane," Insp Somerville said.

"Police were at the scene yesterday afternoon with a Forensic Crash Unit, Scenes of a Crime Officer and also a Recreational Aviation Australia inspector assisting police with their investigation."

Emergency services were called to the scene of the plane crash 25km west of Calliope, near Wooderson, at 9.10am.

The pilot was the only person on board the plane when it crashed.

The plane missed nearby buildings on a Potters Rd property.

The crash ignited a bushfire, which was contained by neighbours until the Rural Fire Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service arrived.

Topics:  calliope emergency gladstone police plane crash

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