SYDNEY • Australia's transport safety investigation agency said yesterday it plans to raise a seaplane that crashed into a Sydney river on New Year's Eve, killing six people, including the chief executive of British catering giant Compass Group.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau executive director Nat Nagy said investigators will probe several lines of inquiry to piece together what happened, including a close look at the plane's avionics and maintenance record and the pilot's background and experience.
It is hoped the plane will be raised by the end of the week, Mr Nagy said. A crane, air bags or a combination of the two, will be used to raise the plane from the riverbed as gently as possible. The plane is submerged in 13m of water near Cowan, about 40km north of Sydney.
Investigators will also look for any other electronic devices, including iPads or iPhones, that may have been on board when the plane crashed - killing Compass chief executive Richard Cousins, 58, and four members of his family. Pilot Gareth Morgan, 44, was also killed. A preliminary report will be made public in about a month, said the authorities.
Police have identified those killed with Mr Cousins as Ms Emma Bowden, 48, Heather Bowden, 11, Mr Edward Cousins, 23, and Mr William Cousins, 25.
Family members and media reports identified the four victims as Mr Cousins' two sons, his fiancee and her daughter.