Aviation authorities investigating a deadly crash that claimed the lives of a South Australian father and son say initial evidence corroborates reports the light plane struck a powerline while attempting to land.

Key points:

  • Charlie Mumford was killed in the crash, while his father and pilot Ben died in hospital
  • The ATSB says initial evidence suggests it was caused by the plane hitting a powerline
  • It’s urged pilots to familiarise themselves with its advice on avoiding wire strikes

The plane’s pilot, 50-year-old Redhill man Ben Mumford, was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital but died hours after the crash, which happened on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Mumford’s 24-year-old passenger and son Charlie died at the scene at Merriton in the state’s mid-north.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has said a third person on the ground was also injured during the rescue attempt.

The plane, a single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk, crashed into the field on Mumfords Road, near Crystal Brook, just after 4pm.

The ATSB has urged pilots to familiarise themselves with the bureau’s advice on how to avoid wire strikes.(ABC News: Isabella Carbone)

The crash sparked a fire which destroyed the plane and spread to surrounding grassland, but was extinguished by the Country Fire Service and local farm units.

An ATSB team headed to the site, and the bureau has said its investigation will include examination of the scene and the wreckage.

Investigators will “interview any witnesses, examine maintenance records, and collect other relevant information”, the ATSB said.

Police at the scene of the crash, which caused a grass fire.(ABC News: Isabella Carbone)

While the bureau said all the factors “involved in this accident are yet to be established”, it said early findings corroborated reports the plane had struck a powerline.

“Initial evidence is consistent with the aircraft having struck a powerline while landing on private property,” it said in a statement.

“A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

“Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken.”

The ATSB urged pilots who land and take off from private property to read its advice on how to avoid wire strikes.

Posted , updated