By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A small plane crashed into a suburban Melbourne shopping mall Sunday, less than an hour before the mall was due to open. Four Americans and their Australian pilot were killed. There were no reported injuries on the ground.
According to NBC News, the accident occurred soon after takeoff from Melbourne's second-biggest airport when the pilot radioed a “catastrophic engine failure.” Moments later, the twin-engine Beechcraft airplane crashed into a warehouse area of the mall and burst into flames. Police, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the crash site.
The U.S. Embassy in Canberra confirmed that four victims were U.S. citizens. Texans Greg Reynolds De Haven and Russell Munsch were identified by their families on social media as two of the victims. News media have not reported the names of the other two victims. The four passengers were on a golfing vacation.
Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews called it the “worst civil aviation accident that our state has seen in 30 years.”
The pilot, Max Quartermain, was under investigation by Australian Transport Safety Bureau for a “near collision” 18 months ago, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield will publish the paperback edition of David’s latest book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever.”