Two survive as Australia plane `falls out of sky`

The 6-seat, single-engine Piper Cherokee crashed in relatively good weather.

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2011, 15:07 PM IST

Sydney: Two members of a prominent Australian farming family were fighting for their lives on Thursday after a light plane "fell out of the sky" and killed the other four people on board.

The six-seat, single-engine Piper Cherokee crashed in relatively good weather late Wednesday near a caravan park in northern New South Wales state.

Among the dead was Digby Boland, 77, his wife Robyn, 77, daughter Michelle, 47, and the pilot, Phillip Jones, 63.

Also on board were the son of the elderly couple, Guy, 42, and his daughter Hannah, 12, who miraculously survived and were being treated in hospital, police said.

Local reports said the Boland family were well known in the area, with the clan first arriving in the district in 1889. They own cattle and wheat farms across New South Wales and Queensland.

"It looks like it`s come in on the final approach to the airport and looks like, for whatever reason, it`s just fallen out of the sky," local resident Lex Baguley told reporters, adding that there was no sign of fire on the aircraft.

Another witness told Brisbane`s Courier-Mail newspaper the plane might have hit a tree less than one kilometre (0.6 miles) from Moree Airport, around 600 kilometres (372 miles) from Sydney.

"It looks like they`ve clipped a tree because there`s a tree broken and bent nearby," she said.

Bureau Report