Pilot dies in Emerald ultralight crash months after losing daughter
The pilot who was killed on Sunday morning when his ultralight plane crashed in a central Queensland paddock had lost his daughter to a rare condition just last year.
Timothy White, 53, died when his plane crashed about 15 kilometres south of Emerald near the Gregory Highway just after 7.30am. He was the sole occupant.
His wife, Leanne, described him as “a beautiful, loving husband and father”.
“He was a genuine, loving guy who would help anybody,” she said.
“He loved flying, he loved life, he loved Harley Davidsons and he loved our life together.”
The couple both owned a Harley motorcycle each and had three children together – 32-year-old Coby, 28-year-old Taylee and 26-year-old Matthew.
However, the couple lost Taylee last August to a rare medical condition called pseudo-Hirschsprung’s disease.
Taylee had been regularly in and out of hospital and had about seven organ transplants.
“She looked normal and healthy, but the hospital was her home away from home,” Mrs White said.
The family had moved to Emerald from Tamworth in New South Wales two-and-a-half years ago to allow Mr White to pursue his dream of owning and running a motel.
The family bought Emerald Motel Apartments and had run it together ever since.
“It was slow, but it was picking up and paying the bills,” she said.
“I’ll keep running it for the short term.”
Ms White said friends were driving up from Tamworth to support the family, but otherwise their friends and relatives mostly lived abroad.
Mr White took off from Emerald Airport on Sunday morning and was in the final stages of getting his pilot’s licence, having passed the test and just needing a few more flying hours.
Mrs White said he planned to circle above the airport and practice take-offs and landings in his ultralight single-seat aircraft.
Inquiries into Mr White’s death continued on Sunday evening, with investigators hoping cameras inside the plane would shed some light on what went wrong.
Mrs White also said authorities were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine whether her husband suffered a medical incident, such as a heart attack, before the crash.