One confirmed dead after plane crash near Burrum Heads
UPDATE: CHRISTMAS celebrations quickly turned to tragedy when a light plane clipped power lines and crashed during a Santa skydive, killing the pilot, near Burrum Heads on Monday.
The pilot, believed to have been a Gympie man, died in the crash and police are still investigating whether anybody else was onboard the Cessna 182 which crashed and caught fire in a field off Burrum Heads Rd about 10.05am.
Police have confirmed the plane was one of two light aircraft participating in a Santa skydive event during a Christmas party at the tourist park Flame Lily Adventures.
The plane, which departed from Gympie earlier on Monday morning, was believed to have been assisting a second aircraft which had a parachuting Santa Claus onboard.
It is understood a number of children witnessed the crash.
Firefighters from Craignish and Torquay attended and extinguished the flaming plane with foam appliances, but the heat of the fire was so intense that little more than a burnt shell remained.
The destruction has made it difficult for investigating police, who could not confirm any more details about the pilot or whether a passenger was also involved.
Hervey Bay senior constable Tom McKinnon said the pilot submitted a flight plan to Gympie Airport but it was believed he had taken off from a private airfield.
The pilot is believed to have crashed while attempting to land the plane.
It landed in a paddock across the road from tourist adventure park Flame Lily Adventures.
About 1600 homes and businesses in Burrum Heads, Howard and Pacific Haven were left without power for about two hours after the accident.
Ergon Energy spokesman Rod Rehbein said power had been reinstated to all but three customers.
The damaged section of the line was isolated so power could be restored.
Crews expect to complete the repairs about 6pm.
Three police crews, including an inspector and the forensic crash unit, were at the scene.
Several other emergency crews were also at the scene including representatives from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
A representative from the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau said an investigation on the crash would be carried out and a team was being sent to the scene on Monday.