News State Queensland Tourist dead in plane crash on remote Queensland beach

Tourist dead in plane crash on remote Queensland beach

The Cessna came down at Bustard Head on Middle Island with four people on board. Photo: RACQ Capricorn Heli
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One person has died and three others have been airlifted to hospital after a tourist plane crashed onto a remote beach in central Queensland.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said two planes, both involved with tourist activities, were flying together when the one which was trailing saw the first go down on Middle Island, off Agnes Water, about 10:40am.

The second plane landed not too far from the crash site and those on board called triple0.

Bystanders rushed to the crash site to try and help the victims, with some performing CPR until authorities arrived.

One person, believed to be a young female tourist, died at the scene.

Pilot Les Woodall, 62, is in a serious condition with a head injury and broken leg, as well as suspected chest and abdominal injuries.

Mr Woodall, a local from the town of 1770, was flown to the Bundaberg hospital.

A 29-year-old woman from the United Kingdom has suspected head injuries and a possible fractured lower leg and is in a serious condition.

A 13-year-old boy has a possible broken leg, and is in a stable condition.

Both have been taken to the Rockhampton hospital.

It is believed the passengers were tourists camping on the island.

Les Woodal
Pilot Les Woodal is in a serious condition and has been taken to Bundaberg for treatment. Photo: Facebook

The plane was on a flight for tourist company 1770 Castaway, which specialises in fly-in camping trips to the island.

Rescue helicopter pilot John Kennedy said he saw bystanders trying to help the crash victims when he arrived at the scene.

“You’ve got to take your hats off to people who get in initially and do first aid and do a pretty good job, considering you may have to do CPR on someone until help arrives,” he said.

“That’s a pretty traumatic event for someone.”

“The last thing you want to see is an aircraft crash with people deceased and people who are in pretty serious trouble.”

Police working to identify crash victim

Queensland Police Acting Inspector Jane Healy said it had taken some time for police investigators to arrive at the crash scene due to the isolated location.

She said police would work closely with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to investigate the incident.

“It was a tourist company operating out of 1770 and my understanding was that they were conducting a day trip to Middle Island and that there were two aircraft travelling at the same time,” she said.

She said police were yet to confirm the identities of those on board, but believe the 13-year-old boy had family on the second aircraft.

“Because of the location and communications it’s difficult to ascertain who the deceased was. We’re still getting an ID on that,” Acting Inspector Healy said.

Police and air investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.
Police and air investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash. Photo: Lifeflight/ABC

A Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman also confirmed the plane was involved in tourist activities but said it was unclear what had caused it to crash.

Two rescue helicopters were called in to help following the accident, with the island only accessible by road at low tide.

Damian Freiberg who runs the CQ Plane Spotting blog said they heard the emergency call to air traffic control on their radio scanner.

“We heard that a wing had been broken off and the plane [was] upside down,” he said.

“It [didn’t] sound good.”