A GoFundMe page has been launched in order to raise money for the wife and young children of Andy Shepherd, an experienced pilot and engineer who was tragically killed in a lightweight plane crash last month.
Shepherd was 44 years old when his home-built Osprey 2 amphibious aircraft crashed into a backyard in the Hunter region of NSW, after an assumed engine failure shortly after take-off at 2,000 feet.
The crash, unfortunately, claimed the life of Shepherd, leaving behind his wife and young children.
The British-born pilot was a club member at the Royal Newcastle Aero Club, and is remembered as a skilled and experienced pilot, and a highly regarded aeronautical engineer.
In response to his tragic death, Royal Australian Air Force pilot Ian Decarlo has set up a GoFundMe in order to raise funds to support the wife and young children of Shepherd, as they handle this sudden tragedy.
As at 12 June, the Andy Shepherd Family support fund page had already surpassed its goal of $5,000 by almost $2,000.
Writing of Shepherd, Decarlo says on the page: “Andy was a huge part of the RAAF family and was a major contribution to defence. He was a highly respected engineer, and a wonderful person. Please help show his family how much he was loved and respected.”
Reports suggest that Shepherd attempted to land the aircraft as its engine spouted smoke, but fell short of the runway and crashed into a paddock at 10:15am in 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.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed that the plane was an Osprey 2, which The Daily Telegraph reported was built by another Royal Newcastle Aero Club member.