Maryborough Aero Club to honour Tiger Moth crash victims

MARYBOROUGH Aero Club will carry on the legacy of its president David Oxley and vice-president John Fisher, who died in Friday’s air crash, club secretary Marcus Taylor has said. But Mr Taylor said the deaths of the two men, aged 71 and 61 respectively, had devastated the committee.The two men died after the plane they were flying in hit trees at Maryborough.It is believed they were taking a joy flight in Mr Fisher’s vintage Tiger Moth.Mr Taylor said the committee members were still coming to grips with the death. “It is pretty shocking,” Mr Taylor said. “The first thing I knew about it was when I had contact with police at 6pm – an hour after the crash.”Mr Taylor said the president was a strong-willed character who had left his mark on the club. The vice-president, who was the chairman of the Maryborough Victorian Airfield Committee, was the driving force behind improving the management of the airfield.Mr Oxley lived in Maryborough and Mr Fisher was a well-respected Harcourt resident.Mr Fisher was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 1996 and once single-handedly flew his Tiger Moth plane from England to Australia for charity.In 2008, he joined 1000 other leading Australians in Canberra to develop and debate strategies and ideas to shape a long-term plan for the nation’s future at the Australia 2020 Summit.Mr Fisher has left behind his wife Carolyn and two daughters.His mother-in-law Margaret Gervasoni told The Bendigo Advertiser they were still coming to terms with his death.“He was a wonderful son-in-law, a wonderful man,” Ms Gervasoni said. “He had a real passion for flying. It was his real hobby. He loved his Tiger Moth.”Mr Taylor said both men’s legacies would be carried on at the club.“Mr Oxley was involved with model aircraft and Mr Fisher was involved with vintage aircraft,” Mr Taylor said.“Mr Fisher had his own museum of vintage aircraft at the Maryborough airfield.“The club will keep going and the museum will keep going.”Meanwhile, investigations into the crash were halted briefly on Saturday after the discovery of asbestos in the Tiger Moth wreckage. An Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said three investigators arrived at the scene on Saturday at 9.30am. However, they had to wait for the asbestos to be removed before they could examine the wreckage.Police said witnesses reported seeing the vintage Tiger Moth crash shortly after take-off about 5pm. The plane burst into flames in trees at the northern end of the bitumen runway. Sergeant Luke Kinder of Maryborough police said shortly after take-off, the aircraft crashed a short distance from the runway. However, he said the investigation was yet to determine if the plane had hit trees on take-off.“The cause of that crash hasn’t been determined,” Sergeant Kinder said. “It was certainly horrific.”