Three remote workers died while passing through Queensland’s McKinlay Shire.
Mine employees recently reported a fly-in fly-out plane crash near AIC Mines’ Eloise operation in McKinlay, 757km west of Townsville.
Team members spotted the turbo commander aircraft wreck at about 2:30pm on 4 November 2023.
Three people aboard had performed fire mapping surveillance for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services before unexpectedly descending. None survived the impact.
One victim has been identified as William Joseph Jennings (pictured centre), a 22-year-old US citizen who worked for AGAIR Aerial Firefighting.
Mother Denise is demanding “answers” from the Queensland police disaster victim identification squad and Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which are both investigating the scene.
“We do [have questions] because he told us that it was safe [and] that he would be nowhere near the wildfires. [Joseph said] he would be up in a plane with the thermal camera mapping out where the hot spots were,” she said according to the Australian Associated Press.
The heartbroken parents have set up a fundraiser campaign that attracted more than 1000 donations, totalling over US$67,870 (A$104,341) at the time of publication. Funds will be used to cover the funeral and body relocation expenses.
“William was known to bring light to any room he walked into, and his sense of humour was infectious,” the family said on the GoFundMe website.
“William was a wonderful human being and it is heartbreaking that he left the world so soon but we can come together to honour him, and give him the farewell he so deeply deserves.”