Sport Aircraft Builder’s club devastated by death of member

Sport Aircraft Builder’s club devastated by death of member

THE Grumman G-73 Mallard plane that crashed into the Swan River during Australia Day festivities was built in 1948 and was a former Indonesian police plane.

The restored plane was being flown by Peter Lynch (52) when it crashed just after 5pm on Thursday, killing Mr Lynch and his partner Endah Cakrawati.

In a 2013 interview with Down Under Aviation Magazine, Mr Lynch described how he wanted to fly from boyhood.

“For me flying was about fulfilling a lifelong ambition, being able to get around a big country much quicker and having fun,” he said.

After owning other aircraft, including a twin-engine Comanche, he wanted the water-landing and take-off Grumman G-73 Mallard.

The 12-seater could cope with all his business and personal flying, including its social side and airfield fly-ins.

He said the Mallard, on which he had trained for many hours in Florida when it was purchased, was “a true airborne campervan” that enabled people to walk around its spacious cabin.

The arrival of the Mallard aircraft to the Sport Aircraft Builder’s Club’s (SABC) airfield in Serpentine caused great excitement among its members.

SABC president Shirley Harding said members lined up to get inside.

“It was just beautiful. I’ve never seen such a lovely aircraft,” she said.

The plane had a glamorous past.

Its first owner was a private oil company in Jakarta and it served in the Indonesian Police Force from 1963 to 1975.

Mr Lynch had ownership of the aircraft transferred to his company Thrillionair Pty Ltd, housed out of Evanshead Airfield in Queensland.