Two killed in Tiger Moth plane crash at Maryborough

INVESTIGATIONS into the Maryborough plane crash, in which two men died, was halted briefly today after the discovery of asbestos in the Tiger Moth wreckage. A 71-year-old from Maryborough and a 61-year-old from Harcourt died last night after the plane they were flying in hit trees at Maryborough yesterday.The pilot was the owner of the plane. An Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said three investigators arrived at the scene today morning at 9.30am.However, they had to wait for the asbestos to be removed before they could examine the wreckage."When they arrived at the accident site they found the fire wall contained asbestos," he said."The fire wall is the material between the plane's engine and the passengers."The investigators had to arrange to have it removed before they could examine the wreckage closely." The three investigators, who have flown in from Canberra and Perth, also spoke to witnesses and are expected to be back at the scene tomorrow. The spokesman said it could take up to a year for the final report to be completed. Once completed, the report will become a public document on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau website.Yesterday, Police said witnesses reported seeing the vintage Tiger Moth crash shortly after take-off about 5pm. The Tiger Moth burst into flames in trees at the northern end of the bitumen runway. A Maryborough Aero Club member confirmed one of the men was a fellow club member but declined to talk about the incident further. Sergeant Luke Kinder of Maryborough police said the names of the two men killed could not be released."Shortly after take-off the aircraft crashed a short distance from the runway," he said. "The cause of that crash hasn't been determined. It was certainly horrific, that would describe it best.''Sergeant Kinder said the investigation was yet to determine if the plane had hit trees on take-off.Rural Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said paramedics received the call about 5.10pm yesterday. He said the crash happened shortly after the plane took off from Maryborough Airport in Leviathan Road. A Country Fire Authority spokesman said seven trucks were dispatched from Maryborough, Carisbrook and surrounding areas. He said it took them 10 minutes to douse a grass and scrub fire at the scene.Yesterday, Maryborough Aero Club members gathered inside a shed at the airfield but did not want to talk about the crash.A Victoria Police spokesperson said police will prepare a report for the coroner.