A Christmas party has ended in tragedy after a plane crash
killed a pilot hired by a skydiving company in southeast
The Cessna's undercarriage clipped power lines and crashed at
Burrum Heads, just north of Hervey Bay, about 10am (local
The plane was engulfed in flames on impact and the
59-year-old pilot, from Gympie, died at the scene.
He was the only person on board.
The crash also sparked hundreds of power outages in the area.
Police Inspector Troy Pukallus says a skydiving company hired
the plane for a Christmas party at the Flame Lily Adventures
park across the road.
"The aircraft was landing in the nearby airfield to assist
with activities for Christmas celebrations at the adventure
park here," he told ABC.
"There were children and adults here at the time."
An adventure park staff member, who did not want to be
identified, said the tragedy had ended what began as a good
"All I can say about the pilot is he was very experienced, he
was a really nice chap and we're all going to miss him
terribly," she told AAP.
An Ergon Energy spokesman said the plane knocked out four
electricity transmission lines, cutting power to 1600 homes
"Initial reports said there was actually contact with the
pole," he told AAP.
"We haven't confirmed that with our crews yet."
The Department of Community Safety said three fire crews put
out the fire.
The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau will investigate