News

Pilot dies in Christmas party crash in front of kids

The wreckage of the Cessna 182 was an inferno by the time bystanders reached it.
The wreckage of the Cessna 182 was an inferno by the time bystanders reached it. Alistair Brightman

CHILDREN as young as two watched in horror as a light plane clipped powerlines above their heads moments before it crashed, killing the pilot, during a Christmas party near Burrum Heads on Monday.

Gympie pilot Mike Oulton, 59, died trying to land his Cessna 182 on an airstrip adjoining the Flame Lily Adventures tourist park on Burrum Heads Rd.

Flame Lily owner Jimmy Swan said a group of seven children, aged between two and five, were standing underneath the powerlines when the single-engine Cessna came in to land at 10.06am.

"We got them down to the ground when the wires were flying around," Mr Swan said.

"He (Mr Oulton) was coming over the top of the property to give us a wave.

"He caught the top of the powerlines with his wheel."

Mr Swan said fuel began leaking from the plane, which avoided crashing onto Burrum Heads Rd, and then two explosions rang out.

When he reached the wreckage, in a nearby paddock, it was an inferno.

"It was just one big fire," he said.

"The metal was already twisted. There was just nothing left."

The plane lost a wing, which came to rest about 50m from the wreckage.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will spend the next three days investigating the crash site and interviewing witnesses.

Flame Lily was hosting a Christmas party for Skydive Hervey Bay, which had been scheduled to do some skydiving in front of the children.

A second light plane had taken off with Santa onboard, and he was going to parachute down to the party to deliver presents.

The wrecked plane is believed to have belonged to Mr Oulton, who was attending the party after departing his private airstrip at Gympie earlier that day.

Mr Swan said he met Mr Oulton, an experienced pilot and skydiver, through Skydive Hervey Bay.

"I hope that he didn't suffer," he said.

The scale of destruction made it hard for investigating police, who had some difficulty in determining whether Mr Oulton was the only occupant.

"This at any time of the year is terrible, let alone a week before Christmas," said Maryborough District acting Inspector Troy Pukallus.

About 1600 homes and businesses in Burrum Heads, Howard and Pacific Haven were without power for two hours after the crash.

Topics:  burrum heads fatal crash flame lily adventure park plane crash



Maryborough forecast to break January record temp

Generic hot weather photo.

The last time a record was broken was in January 1995.

TOP JOB: Teen to host event to help fight cancer

Luke Strochnetter, Kay Nixon and Charmaine Bailey at last year's Relay for Life in Hervey Bay.

A Hervey Bay teen is doing his bit in the fight against cancer.

Disability access mats rolled out on Torquay Beach

Cameron D'Amico was one of the first to officially trial the Mobi-Mat beach access mat on Monday morning, with the structure soon to be a permanent part of the Fraser Coast.

The mats were officially trialled on Monday by support workers.

Local Partners

Teen starts gofundme page to get to barrel racing worlds

RYLEY Burke may only be 15-years-old but that isn't stopping the teenager and his horses Rebel and Spin from working hard to live his dreams.


What's on: 11 gigs coming up at the Brolga

Xavier Rudd will be performing a benefit concert at the Brolga Theatre on January 21.

There's a gig for everyone with lots happening in coming months.

Why platinum selling Xavier Rudd won't charge to play M'boro

Australian singer songwriter Xavier Rudd at Bluesfest 2015

All funds raised at the show will go towards community support.

Donate unused items to help fight against breast cancer

The Mini-Field of Women is a tribute to all those affected by breast cancer in the community.

Hervey Bay man will host garage sale for Breast Cancer Association.

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Will there be a Game of Thrones spin-off?

Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage in a scene from season six episode 10 of Game of Thrones.

HBO’S original programming president has teased fans.

Ed Sheeran's intimate gigs down under

Singer Ed Sheeran

CHART-topper playing invite-only shows in Australia next month.

Eddie McGuire's scandal-free focus and new-look Hot Seat

Eddie McGuire hosts the new Millionaire Hot Seat Super Game.

HOST wants out of the hot seat himself to focus on game show revamp.

Embattled Amber Sherlock back on TV after leaked video

Amber Sherlock seems to have brushed off the leaked video

Read Kim Kardashian's terrifying statement on robbery

“The individual with ski goggles rips out my BlackBerry phone.”

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!