By Steph McNicol
THE Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to investigate a two-plane collision that killed four people near Mangalore last week.
Police confirmed the two occupants in the plane departing from Mangalore airport were a 27-year-old woman from West Melbourne, whose name has not been released publicly, and the other Chris Gobel, from Maiden Gully.
In the plane departing Tyabb were two Peninsula Aero Club members Ido Segev and Peter Phillips.
The collision occurred at about 4100 feet and as a result, one plane crashed near Lambing Gully Road and the other near Avenel-Seymour Road.
A briefing by Victoria Police and the ATSB confirmed six investigators would be on scene at both collision sites to uncover the events leading up to the collision.
ATSB executive director Nat Nagy said upon arriving at the site, forensics were met with a ‘confronting scene’.
“The full sequence of events isn’t yet fully understood. However the facts as we know them are that a Piper PA44 Seminole aircraft departed from Mangalore airport Wednesday morning with two people on board – it was a training flight,” he said.
Mr Nagy said the Seminole departed to the south-west and was turning to the west on climb.
“At the same time a Beechcraft Travel Air aircraft was tracking inbound to Mangalore from Tyabb from the south, they were on descent and subsequently collided to the south-east of Mangalore airport,” he said.
Mr Nagy said the investigators would begin a site survey, using area mapping as well as ground mapping, and they would examine the aircraft wreckage.
He said investigators would also try to retrieve any electronics that were on board the aircraft.
“We are also going to be talking to air traffic control and getting data from them such as radar recordings and audio recordings to see if we can see exactly where the aircraft were and where they were going both in the leadup and the exact time of the collision,” Mr Nagy said.
He confirmed there was no air traffic control at Mangalore – radar services are provided by Melbourne.
“There is no indication at this stage that any pilots were at fault, it is important that we look at all the circumstances leading up to the event. That will mean reconstructing the events leading up to the accident,” he said.
Mitchell Area Inspector Peter Koger said police attended both Tyabb and Mangalore flying clubs after the incident to offer support.
“We have provided welfare and support to the staff as well as all victims’ relatives, work friends and anyone else that had any contact with them,” he said.
“Our police wellbeing services have been in contact with us, including myself. Obviously with a tragedy like this, it stretches far and wide.”