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Probe too expensive for Lockyer Valley pilot Terry Kronk

Terry Kronk at the hangar which housed his aircraft. Inset: Mr Kronk’s beloved replica P51 Mustang and the crash scene.
Terry Kronk at the hangar which housed his aircraft. Inset: Mr Kronk’s beloved replica P51 Mustang and the crash scene.

AS police investigations begin into the plane crash that claimed the life of Lockyer Valley identity Terry Kronk, Australia's peak transport investigation authority says it cannot afford to look into the incident.

An Air Transport Safety Board (ATSB) spokesman said it could only investigate a "finite" number of incidents each year, and it will not be investigating the Helidon crash.

"In this instance, because it is amateur-built, it helped to inform our decision," the spokesman said.

Mr Kronk died when his replica P51 Mustang, classed as an "experimental" aircraft, crashed into the ground soon after take-off.

The Queensland Police Service Forensic Crash Unit is conducting investigations to prepare a report for the coroner on the crash of the experimental Mustang P51 replica, which crashed on take-off from the Emu Gully airstrip at 9.25am on Saturday.

The 52-year-old Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley identity appeared to be attempting to return to the Emu Gully airstrip when a mechanical failure sent the plane plummeting to earth.

Close family friend and spokesman for the Kronk family Mark Freeman paid tribute to his long-time friend and expressed shock at his untimely death. "It was all a huge shock and we are all a bit numb," Mr Freeman said.

"He was passionate about aviation and was a great pilot who loved flying.

"He flew every week."

An Air Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said the ATSB had ruled out any investigations into the accident due to budget constraints.

You can read or contribute tributes to Terry Kronk on the Gatton Star's Facebook page.

A Tribute from a Mate

SATURDAY, November 3, 2012 was a sad day for military re-enactors, military vehicle and war bird restorers/collectors, with the tragic death of Terry Kronk.

Terry was a humble, quietly spoken man dedicated to the restoration of WWII fighter aircraft and armoured vehicles.

He and good mate Barry Rogers instigated the largest military re-enactment and display event Australia has seen, the Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular.

Hundreds of re-enactors from all parts of south east Queensland come to Emu Gully each year to re-create famous battles Australian soldiers fought in, ranging from the light horse charge of Beersheba, WW1, WW2, and Vietnam.

Always the event highlight was Terry in his replica Spitfire and fellow pilot Bryce Wolfe in the FW190 German fighter, performing a well rehearsed dog fight in the sky to the awe of the thousands of spectators on the ground.

He was a perfectionist to the point of having the sound of machine guns firing from the spitfire. Many ex-service men and women would be proud of Terry and Barry's quest to honour the Australians who sacrificed their lives in past conflicts.

Terry's passing leaves you with an empty feeling, but I will remember the memories forever.

Your good mate Russel Tattam.

Topics:  crash, lockyer valley, terry kronk


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