A light plane crash near Melbourne Essendon Airport on Tuesday claimed the lives of all five people onboard, including four Americans. The fifth victim of the crash was an Aussie pilot who remained under investigation over a near-miss midair collision.
The four US citizens, according to reports, were pursuing their immense interest in golf during their trip to Australia. They boarded the light plane for an offshore excursion. The details regarding the personal interest of the victims were obtained from a family member of one of the victims as well as Australian authorities.
Three of the American passengers have been identified as of now. Greg Reynolds De Haven, Russell Munsch and Glenn Garland were the identified victims. All of them lived in Austin, Texas. On the hand, the Aussie pilot was identified as Max Quartermain. He was the owner of the charter company Corporate and Leisure Travel.
Dennelle Wicht, victim De Haven’s sister expressed her grief saying that her brother served in the U.S. Army and worked for FBI but died while enjoying his retirement. “He managed to get through all of that, to die this way,” Wicht said. She described her sibling as “extremely athletic” and also mentioned that he aspired to become a pro golfer.
Besides De Haven, the death of another victim was confirmed. An energy consulting firm confirmed Garland was a former CEO and co-founder of CLEAResult. He served as a chief executive ahead of retiring in 2015. The company’s founder, Jim Stimmel called Garland a “visionary” when it came to producing and providing energy.
The third American who died in the light plane crash, Munsch, was a founding partner of law firm Munsch Hardt. The firm released a statement on Tuesday and said that the victim litigated one of the major bankruptcy cases in the US. He would have turned 62 on Wednesday, Chicago Tribune reported.
Pilot of Light Plane Previously Faced Accusation
Quartermain, the pilot of the light plane that crashed into a Melbourne shopping center, has earlier been under an active investigation over near-miss midair collision above a ski resort in September 2015. Fellow pilots accused Quartermain of putting the lives of 18 people in danger at that time.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continued conducting an investigation of the previous incident. The investigation results, as of now, have revealed that there was some issue with GPS equipment that led to the mishap.