A MUCH-loved man has tragically died after the light plane he was piloting crashed into dense scrubland in the rural area yesterday.
Rural resident John Gotts, 64, was killed when the single engine, fixed wing light aircraft crashed in bushland at Weddell shortly before 10am.
Superintendent Lauren Hill said the deceased man, who was identified as Mr Gotts last night, was the only person inside the aircraft when it crashed but the cause of the accident remained unknown . Supt Hill said the flight originated from the Emkaytee Airfield, which is about 1.5km east of the crash site and came to rest about 200m north of Jenkins Rd.
Darwin Airport air traffic control first notified NT Police and emergency services of reports that an aircraft had gone missing about 9.55am.
A search by other aircraft in the region subsequently confirmed the light plane had crashed into bushland.
Police and firefighters were first on the scene, cordoning off the area before staff from the coroner’s office and major crime investigators arrived.
The dead man’s next of kin were notified and they were also present at the crash site.
Supt Hill said Recreational Aviation Australia personnel would investigate the crash, as opposed to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau , which would have investigated if the aircraft had been commercially registered .
“The Recreational Aviation Australia investigators will be attending Darwin, and they will be working with major crime at the crash site to determine the cause of the crash,” she said.
“A crime scene is open at the location, forensic officers have processed the scene, and the deceased has been removed from the area.”
Details about where the aircraft was headed, or if the accident occurred during takeoff or landing procedures remain unclear.
It is also unclear as to if there was any dialogue between the pilot and air traffic controllers before the crash happened.
The exact make and model of the aircraft is still undetermined.
Supt Hill urged anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard the plane before the incident to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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