COUTTS Crossing resident Gary Turnbull has been identified as the man killed in a plane crash on the Gold Coast.
The 58-year-old train driver was named as the victim after a Tiger Moth Joy Rides aircraft crashed into a field at Norwell, near Pimpana-Jacobs Well Rd, shortly after taking off at 9am on Monday.
Police were called to the scene at 9.25am.
Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said Mr Turnbull was a resident of Coutts Crossing for a long time, and his loss would be keenly felt throughout the tight-knit community.
"It is a particularly sad time for Gary's family, and I offer my condolences to them on what is a tragic death of a very good man," he said.
"He was a guy that enjoyed a cold beer and was a very good member of our community here at Coutts."
Colleagues from freight company Pacific National said Mr Turnbull was a valued member of the Grafton-based team for the past ten years.
"To do the work we do you have to be interested in it, but more so than in other jobs," colleague Jack Hawken said.
"Gary had many varied interests, the railway being one of them. He will be sadly missed."
According to Facebook, he was also a keen hang glider, para glider and motorcycle enthusiast.
It is believed the Tiger Moth Joy Rides flight was a Christmas present to Mr Turnbull from his daughters, one of whom witnessed the crash from a nearby hangar.
His other daughter is believed to have left the country on Boxing Day, to embark on a two-month trip overseas.
The pilot of the aircraft, 21-year-old Ryan Campbell, suffered critical injuries as a result of the crash.
The accomplished pilot made history in 2013 when he became the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world at the age of 19.
He was airlifted to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital on Monday where yesterday he remained in a serious but stable condition.
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