The pilot of a home-built Osprey 2 amphibious aircraft that crashed into a backyard in the Hunter region of NSW has been named as Royal Newcastle Aero Club member Andy Shepherd.
The Daily Telegraph reported the 44-year-old had already flown the aircraft on several occasions, but it’s believed it suffered engine troubles shortly after take-off at about 2,000 feet in the air on Sunday.
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As smoke spewed out, Shepherd tried to land the Osprey but fell short of the runway and crashed into a paddock at 10:15am on Denton Close, Windella.
NSW Police said the pilot was removed from the wreckage by witnesses but, despite attempts to resuscitate him, died at the scene.
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesperson then confirmed to the AAP that firefighters arrived afterwards to clear fuel spills and hazardous material from the crash site.
One firefighter suffered a minor back injury and had to be taken to hospital.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed that plane was an Osprey 2, which The Daily Telegraph reports was built by another Royal Newcastle Aero Club member. Shepherd himself was an experienced pilot.
Friend Bill Coote paid tribute to the Englishman, calling him an “extremely professional, highly qualified pilot and RAAS engineer”.
“He was very personable, keen pilot. My wife and I are very cut up about it,” he said.
Port Stephens Hunter Police District officers have commenced inquiries and will prepare a report for the coroner, while the ATSB and CASA have been notified.