Plane descended before deadly collision
Two sightseeing planes that collided in Alaska killing six people, including an Australian, struck each other at a height of about 1000 metres before they crashed, air crash investigators said.
Simon Bodie, 56, from Sydney, took the flight as part of a side trip from a cruise he was taking along the Alaskan coast.
The US the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has given details about the seaplanes’ final moments in the air, reports CBS.
The larger plane, a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 with 10 passengers and its pilot, had descended from 1160 metres and collided with a smaller de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, which was carrying four passengers and the pilot.
The aircraft came down about three kilometres apart, with some of the wreckage falling on land near George Inlet, which is about 15 kilometres from the cruise ship port of Ketchikan.
Mr Bodie's family described him as a "devoted father" who "wouldn't hurt a fly".
He had been married to his wife Stephanie for 31 years, family told 9News, and had two children. His daughter recently got engaged.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to Mr Bodie's family.
"The Australian unfortunately is one of the people confirmed deceased," US Coast Guard Lieutenant Brian Dykens told AAP.
Sixteen people in total were on board the two aircraft, and most were passengers on the Royal Princess cruise liner touring the region.
An investigation into the cause of the crash could take months, but a preliminary report is expected to be released within two weeks, said an NTSB spokesman.
Investigators say they plan to interview the surviving pilot, passengers and witnesses.
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