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Tributes Flow For Victims Of Horror Melbourne Plane Crash

It was a once in a lifetime trip that ended in tragedy.

22/02/2017 8:03 AM AEDT | Updated 22/02/2017 10:39 AM AEDT
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The aircraft crashed into the DFO building at around 9am.

The Air Transport Safety Bureau has committed to releasing a report within 28 days on the cause of a plane crash which left five people dead in Melbourne on Tuesday.

ATSB commissioner Greg Hood said four investigators were at the site of the crash in Essendon to collect evidence, while he asked anyone who had captured video of the incident to supply it to the investigating team.

He said while there was "a lot of speculation" about the cause of the crash, the ATSB would collect and process the evidence before making further comment.

Meanwhile, the fifth victim from the crash has been identified overnight by family as 67-year-old retiree John Washburn, according to Texas newspaper, The Statesman.

Prior to his retirement, Washburn had been an executive and general counsel at Sammons Enterprises in Dallas.

The Age
Washburn's neighbour Russell Munsch was also on the golf trip.

The American tourist, along with fellow golfers Greg De Haven, Glenn Garland and neighbour Russell Munsch, had chartered the Beechcraft B200 King Air plane to take them to King Island for a day of golfing.

However, soon after take-off the aircraft experienced engine failure and crashed into a DFO factory outlet before exploding into flames.

Munsch, a fellow retiree, was a founding partner of Munsch Hardt, a Texas-based law firm reportedly involved in some of the most prominent bankruptcy cases in the U.S, including the Enron scandal which resulted in the oil company's collapse.

Munsch Hardt said in a statement that he had been "one of the best of all time".

In a Facebook post, the sister of De Haven, a 70-year-old former FBI agent, paid tribute to her brother who was on his "once in a lifetime" trip to Australia.

"My handsome athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident," she wrote.

"It was a charter flight with two of his friends flying to another island to play golf."

Garland had been the former CEO of Texas-based energy company CLEAResult, which released a statement saying that the company had been heartbroken to hear of his passing.

"Glenn was a visionary leader who co-founded our company and shaped the energy efficiency industry," a post uploaded to the company's Facebook page read.

"Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."

The Age
Greg De Haven was on a once in a lifetime trip.

Garland had previously posted updates to Facebook during his golfing trip of New Zealand and Australia, writing in one that he felt uneasy on smaller planes.

"I only burned 5,000 calories of anxiety on the flight over. Beats a 5-hour one way bus ride," he wrote in a post while touring Milford Sound, New Zealand.

Glenn Garland / Facebook

Pilot Max Quartermain, 63, a seasoned pilot with over 38 years flying experience, also died in the incident.

It is understood he was the subject of an investigation by the ATSB regarding a "near collision" in September 2015.

An investigation summary into the incident reported that low clouds had made conditions difficult and were responsible for the plane having "tracking difficulties" on its approach to Mount Hotham.

The release of the final report has been delayed several times and was due to be issued in May.

It has been reported however, that while Quartermain was not named in the ATSB report, he was ordered to re-do his instrument rating qualifications after the incident.

"Following the incident at Mount Hotham, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority required the pilot to undergo some additional proficiency checks. They were done, the pilot passed those checks," a Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman said, according to the ABC.

"And in subsequent checks done prior to yesterday's flight...the pilot has passed all of those."

Australian Corporate Jets' Bas Nikolavski, who owned the plane, said Quartermain was "one of the most experienced pilots".

"Every aspect of my body had goosebumps," Nikolovski told AAP.

In a Facebook post paying tribute to Quartermain, Steve Atto described the pilot as being "the most diligent".

Supplied
Pilot Max Quartermain also co-owned the plane charter company.

"RIP to all those onboard and especially to the most diligent pilot we all trusted and enjoyed his company," the post read.

The tragedy, which is Victoria's worst aviation accident in 30 years, is under investigation by the ATSB.

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