Advertisement

Body Of Pilot Recovered From Tasmanian Plane Crash

A solo pilot who was killed when their twin-engine plane crashed in rugged Tasmanian wilderness, had moved to the island state to learn to fly.

The body of the unnamed pilot was retrieved from near the summit of West Portal, in the Western Arthur Range in the state's southwest, on Sunday.

"We had two objectives ... to safely retrieve the pilot's body and to forensically examine the scene," Tasmania Police Inspector Dave Wiss said in a statement.

"It was important to achieve both objectives for the sake of the family and to ensure a greater understanding of the events that contributed to this tragic event."

Specialist search-and-rescue-trained forensic investigators were flown by helicopter and winched down to the crash site in steep terrain and dense forest.

The Airlines of Tasmania plane went missing around 8.30am on Saturday during a routine flight to pick up passengers from Melaleuca.

It was in the air for roughly 40 minutes after leaving Cambridge, outside Hobart.

The wreckage of the plane was spotted from a rescue helicopter on Saturday evening, with police saying the pilot had zero chance of surviving the "catastrophic" crash.

Airlines of Tasmania managing director Shannon Wells said everyone at the company was in shock.

The pilot had been with the company for three years and was "very experienced and well qualified", he said.

"They moved down to Tasmania to become a pilot and did all their training here," Wells told reporters.

"They were well versed in Tasmanian flying conditions and this was their second year of actually flying commercially for us."

A light plane drops off travellers at Melaleuca airstrip, Melaleuca, in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area south-west region, Australia, April, 2018. Image: AAP Image/Candice Marshall)

Police are expected to release further details about the pilot in coming days after meeting with their family who have flown to Tasmania from interstate. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the crash along with the Tasmanian Coroner.

The plane's emergency location transmitter has been recovered from the wreckage and will be examined in Hobart.