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Australian family killed in Piper crash in Florida

written by Adam Thorn | December 8, 2022

Three members of an Australian family have been identified as the victims of a Piper Cherokee crash off the coast of Florida on Saturday.

Christian Kath, 42, from Queensland, was piloting the rented aircraft when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico with his wife Misty, 43, and elder daughter Lily, 12, on board.

The family are survived by the daughter’s sister, 10-year-old Harper, who was at a sleepover and not on the flight.

Rescuers found Lily’s body in the plane’s passenger area and Misty’s floating 4km west of Venice’s shore. The pilot’s body has yet to be recovered, but the search has now been called off.


During an earlier press conference, local authorities said a mayday call was not given before the Piper, N4676F, crashed.

Alarm bells were raised following an FAA inquiry into why the aircraft had not returned to its origin airport. It is believed the family flew from Saint Petersburg to have dinner in Venice, Florida.

Christian Kath was only recently qualified to fly, and posted about his first solo flight on social media in March.

Family friend Caleb McGuire told 2GB radio’s Ben Fordham efforts were being made to fly the couple’s surviving daughter back to Australia to be with her grandparents.

“I’ve been speaking to so many people over the last few days … the company Chris works for were [pulling] out all stops [to ensure] his youngest was absolutely taken care of it,” he said.

The aircraft was pulled from the waters on Monday night and is being taken to Jacksonville, where the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

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