Lake George Canberra plane crash: Family shares message after plane kills children and grandfather
- Plane crash family breaks silence
- Three children and grandfather killed
The families of four people killed in a horrific plane crash have spoken out for the first time since the disaster.
Peter Nally, 65, and his three grandchildren – Raphael, 11, Evita, nine, and Philomena, six – died after the light plane Peter was piloting crashed near Canberra on Friday at around 2.50pm.
“There are no words to describe the grief our family is feeling at this time,” members of the Nally family said in a brief statement released via New South Wales Police.
“We appreciate the overwhelming support we continue to receive from our extended family and friends as well as the local community.”
Parents Elyse and Dave Smith with their children. Their three eldest children, Raphael, Evita and Philomena, died in the light plane crash along with their grandfather Peter.
“While we are still coming to terms with our loss, we ask that the media respect our privacy as we grieve and process this tragedy.”
Mr Nally, an experienced pilot from Bunya, Queensland, was returning his three grandchildren to his daughter Elyse’s home in Armidale, northern New South Wales, after visiting family in Ainsley, a suburb of Canberra.
The Cirrus SR22 light plane they were traveling in lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from Canberra Airport at 2.30pm.
A chilling sound captured controllers’ frantic attempts to contact Mr Nally, without success.
Within minutes the plane crashed and burst into flames at a rural property near Lake George in the New South Wales Tablelands.
The vehicle was completely destroyed upon impact, instantly killing everyone on board.
Emergency services intervened after being called to the scene by a witness who saw flames coming from the wreckage.
Firefighters managed to put out the fire but there was no hope for those on board.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the causes of the fatal crash, with initial reports suggesting the plane’s built-in parachute system failed to deploy.
Chilling audio details the final moments of people on board a light plane that crashed near Canberra and air traffic control’s desperate attempts to reach them.
Investigators continue to look into the causes of this fatal accident. Photo: NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman
The accident happened near Lake George, just north of Canberra, around 3 p.m. on Friday.
“Over the coming days, investigators experienced in aircraft operations and maintenance will conduct a series of on-site evidence collection activities,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a statement on Saturday.
The release of a preliminary report on the disaster could take up to 8 weeks, according to the ATSB.
The plane the family was traveling on was in excellent condition and Friday’s weather conditions were ideal for flying, the Daily Telegraph reported.