Marcel Van Hattem, 52, and his 31-year-old female passenger were last seen on Wednesday morning in the Yak-52 plane they were flying in.
They were missing since then and the rescue crews found Mr. Van Hattem’s body late on Thursday afternoon. His heartbroken German Shepherd sits outside his Gold Coast property awaiting his arrival home like usual.
The Dutch-born pilot was taking the mother-of-one on a joy ride above the Gold Coast on Wednesday to celebrate her upcoming birthday.
After 10.30am the aircraft lost contact with ground crews, and the rescue team found debris matching the plane at 5.30pm on South Stradbroke Island.
The search for the body of the woman continues and is being regarded as a recovery mission. She has an 11-year-old daughter.
Neil Aitkenhead said Mr. Van Hattem was well-respected and proficient and a regular at the club’s airstrip and
Mr. Aitkenhead said, ‘It’s a tragedy. He could have landed anywhere. It wasn’t until investigations dug deeper and found it was only intended to be a 30-minute flight that the alarm was raised.’
Mr. Aitkenhead further said that the flying conditions were perfect when the group took off. The plane was last spotted flying over South Stradbroke Island.
Source – Daily Mail