A trainee pilot from Hong Kong was killed in Australia on Tuesday morning after a light plane he was flying crashed into a turf farm near Brisbane, the second deadly accident of its kind in less than two months, Apple Daily reports.
Jeffrey Li, 25, who ran a logistics company in Hong Kong, died on the spot along with his flying instructor, Matthew Furlong, 35.
Li came to Brisbane in July and enrolled himself in a Chinese-run flight school called Flylink Aviation College after receiving training in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
He had hoped to complete the course and obtain a pilot license next month, a dream he had nurtured since childhood.
Li’s four-seat single-engine plane, identified as Diamond DA-40, took off from Archerfield Airport at 9 a.m. local time for a 90-minute training session, only to plummet about 3,000 feet to the ground and crash 43 minutes later, according the Australian media reports.
Paramedics confirmed Li and his instructor were dead at the accident scene.
A witness said he saw the plane spiral in the air as if it was out of control before crashing down to the farmland.
The instructor had made a Mayday call even as the weather in the area appeared to be fine at the time of the crash, the reports said.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has launched an investigation into the incident.
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said it was coordinating with the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong and the Chinese consulate in Brisbane regarding the case, adding that it would offer assistance to Li’s family.
On August 3, a 19-year-old student of the City University of Hong Kong, who was training to be a pilot, died after his plane crashed in heavy fog in Melbourne, Australia.
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