Plane crash victims finally coming home

THE son of a Cairns man killed in the Lockhart River plane crash has praised the "compassion" of police officers after recovery efforts came to a close yesterday.

Jake Ganter's father Wayne, 63, was killed alongside four other men when their twin-engine Cessna 404 Titan smashed into sand dunes in poor weather near Lockhart River on Cape York on Wednesday, March 11.

Wayne Ganter was one of five men who died together in a plane crash at Lockhart River on Wednesday, March 11.
Wayne Ganter was one of five men who died together in a plane crash at Lockhart River on Wednesday, March 11.
Mark Rawlings was killed in the crash.
Mark Rawlings was killed in the crash.

"Everybody has been excellent, very open and very helpful," Jake Ganter said, talking to the Cairns Post from Brisbane.

"You can see there was a lot of compassion.

"The police were visibly shaken from the experience; they were Cairns locals and the five gentlemen were Cairns locals.

"You can see it was a shock to everybody, it was pretty comforting."

The fuselage of the crashed Cessna was removed from the dunes yesterday, after the last of the passengers were recovered.

The Lockhart River beach where a light plane crashed, killing five Cairns men.
The Lockhart River beach where a light plane crashed, killing five Cairns men.

"You can't just go cutting into a plane, they had to figure out 'the how', so they can understand 'the why' later down the track," Mr Ganter said.

"People were working around the clock and being as respectful a possible."

The men's bodies are expected to be taken to Brisbane for a post mortem.

Henry Roebig, 62. Mr Roebig was travelling in the plane with his QBuild coworkers when it crashed near Lockhart River.
Henry Roebig, 62. Mr Roebig was travelling in the plane with his QBuild coworkers when it crashed near Lockhart River.

Investigations by the Air Traffic Safety Bureau and police forensics officers will continue.

"It takes time to be thorough, especially when it was a commercial passenger flight," Mr Ganter said.

"I work in a high-risk industry where investigations are the way they are to prevent further accidents.

"I have no dramas with it at all; I have been very happy with police efforts to keep us in the loop."

The five men killed in the crash have been identified as QBuild workers Wayne Ganter, 63, Henry Roebig, 62, and Wayne Brischke, 57, pilot Stuart Wavell, 36, and contractor Mark Rawlings, 49.

Pictured - Cape York Inspector Mark Henderson with Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher- Plane crash on Quintell beach 4 km east of plane crash near Lockhart River township on Cape York.Five people are feared dead after a plane crash near Lockhart River township on Cape York
Pictured - Cape York Inspector Mark Henderson with Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher- Plane crash on Quintell beach 4 km east of plane crash near Lockhart River township on Cape York.Five people are feared dead after a plane crash near Lockhart River township on Cape York

Cape York Inspector Mark Henderson said the recovery efforts had been hampered by site of the wrecked plane.

"Access was extremely difficult," Insp Henderson said.

"It was on the beach about five kilometres from the boat ramp, there was no other access to the site from land.

"Sometimes we had to access it from a police vessel.

"Conditions in that area are quite difficult."

QBuild employee Wayne Brischke, 57, who perished in the crash.
QBuild employee Wayne Brischke, 57, who perished in the crash.


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