Seaplane involved in Sydney crash destroyed in previous fatal accident


aircraftTHE seaplane that crashed killing six people north of Sydney on New Year’s Eve had been “destroyed” in a fatal accident and rebuilt, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau report shows.

The aircraft involved in the crash had previously flown as a crop duster with a different registration but the same serial number.

It was involved in a fatal accident that killed a pilot in November 1996 during hot gusty winds in NSW.

The plane did not seem to be climbing sufficiently to pass over the hill in front of it.”

“The aircraft was then seen to be in a climbing left turn, toward the driver with superphosphate dumping from it.

The aircraft’s left wingtip contacted the ground after which the aircraft cartwheeled and came to rest 200-300 meters from the superphosphate dump,” it said.

“The driver ran down to the aircraft and found the pilot still strapped in the seat with no apparent sign of life. He moved the pilot clear of the aircraft in case of fire and then summoned help.”

The report listed the plane as “destroyed” with the accident “fatal.”

The plane had since been rebuilt and made safe to fly, WA Today claims. It’s believed to have changed hands several times before being bought by Sydney Seaplanes.

Previous owners said they found the plane “reliable”, while Sydney Seaplanes boss Aaron Shaw said earlier this week the engines were replaced for every 1100 flying hours — faster than the industry standard and the plane in question had only flown 200 hours.

piloIt comes as friends and former clients of pilot Gareth Morgan shared footage of him flying on a tribute page for the well-loved airman.

Vietnamese woman Tam Phan posted that she travelled in the same model of DHC-2 Beaver seaplane in July 2017 along with a video from the trip.

“Gareth was so nice with his good sense of humour that made us feel so comfortable and enjoy the whole experience,” she wrote.

“It was one of our most memorable days as a couple. We are so sad to hear the news. Our condolences go to Gareth’s family and loved ones.”

Another former client Sun Ny Fung also posted an eight second clip and said she travelled with him in September 2017.

“Seemed like a nice guy. RIP,” she said.

‎Nikki Holdaway wrote that she was also “fortunate enough” to be on one of his flights in July 2017 and was devastated by his death.

“Despite our very brief encounter, and him being a man of few words, I remember him very well.

I don’t really know why, but there must have been something very special about him for me to remember him so clearly. This is utterly devastating — I hope you are at peace Gareth xx,” she said.

Others shared pictures and memories of their friendship with the devout Christian on a page called Gareth Morgan, Man after God’s Heart.

They wrote at being crushed at the shock death of the experienced pilot, who has been described as a “true gentleman with a big heart” by his local pastor

The 44-year-old always prayed before his flights and read the Bible daily. A flatmate described his kindness and geniality.

Morgan was killed in the crash along with his passengers, a UK family including Richard Cousins, his two adult sons Edward and William, his fiancee Emma Bowden and her 11-year-old daughter when the plane plunged into Jerusalem Bay on December 31.

NSW police will attempt to recover the Sydney Seaplanes DHC-2 Beaver from the Hawkesbury River on Thursday in an operation that’s expected to start at dawn and run into the afternoon.