A Kiama Downs dad has been named as one of the two victims in Wednesday’s horrific gyrocopter crash near Orange Regional Airport.
Michael Waldon, 60, and Richard Kym Caskey, 64, were killed when their light aircraft hit the ground in a field just south of the airport at Spring Hill.
Mr Waldon, a father of three from Kiama Downs, was an accredited flight instructor with the Australian Sport Motorcraft Association.
Mr Caskey, a father of two, is understood to have moved to Carcoar recently from the South Coast.
Central West Police District Superintendent Chris Taylor said on Wednesday the two men had been performing ‘touch and go’ manouevres at the airport at 12.05pm before leaving when another aircraft needed to land.
He said the cause of the crash was under investigation.
“We don’t have any witnesses that saw exactly what happened, three witnesses heard a noise, turned around and saw the smoke,” Supt Taylor said.
“It was a two-man gyrocopter, it was practising manoeuvres around the airport, then moving out of the way when an aircraft, or a helicopter landed.
“Whilst they were doing that, about a kilometre away from the airport, they’ve crashed in an open field about 800 metres from Forest Road. It does appear they’ve fallen from the sky.
Superintendent Taylor said emergency crews were on the scene within five or six minutes.
“The aircraft was still on fire, there was a small grass fire around it and there were a couple of parts of the gyrocopter which were approximately 200 metres away. The fire was put out by the fire brigade.”
The reason there were two sites of wreckage formed part of the probe on Thursday when investigators returned to the crash scene.
Central West Police District crime manager Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick said they were still looking into communications from the flight to the aerodrome, service manuals and manufacturing details.
“It’s one of those investigations where if we find anything that will be of concern, we will certainly let people know,” he said.
Inspector Grassick said Mr Caskey had a number of hours’ experience in the aircraft and the pair had been practising manoeuvres for several days prior to the incident.