Seaplane which killed five was 'destroyed' in fatal accident more than 20 years ago

Seaplane which killed five was 'destroyed' in fatal accident more than 20 years ago

The aircraft was owned by Sydney Seaplanes

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The seaplane that crashed near Sydney and killed five British people had been rebuilt after it was "destroyed" in a fatal incident more than 20 years ago.

Wreckage of the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver was lifted out of the Hawkesbury River by a crane barge today (January 4), five days after the New Year's Eve tragedy.

The aircraft, which was first registered in 1964, was used as a crop duster in Australia prior to its life as a seaplane.

On November 15 1996, it was involved in a crash in Kotupna, New South Wales, in which the pilot was killed.

Under "damage to aircraft" the investigators said it was "destroyed", had been carrying a full load of fuel and was beginning to dump a tonne of superphosphate before it crashed.

The report into the incident states that records showed the aircraft had "completed periodic maintenance two days prior to the accident."

The executive director of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau​, Nat Nagy, has now said once the plane is returned to land, the parts will be transferred to a facility in Canberra where they will be subject to a "thorough investigation."

A preliminary report will be produced in around 30 days, before a full report in around 12 months' time.

The aircraft, owned by Sydney Seaplanes, reportedly nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River, 25 miles north of Sydney, at around 3.10pm (4.10am GMT) after setting off from Cottage Point bound for the city's Rose Bay, close to the harbour, on Sunday (December 31).

Richard Cousins, the 58-year-old chief executive of FTSE 100 company Compass Group, died alongside his sons, Will and Edward, aged 25 and 23, his fiancee, Emma Bowden, 48, and her 11-year-old daughter Heather.

The experienced pilot, Australian Gareth Morgan, 44, was also killed.