Seaplane made ‘inexplicable' turn before crash that killed Richard Cousins

31 January 2018 by
Seaplane made ‘inexplicable' turn before crash that killed Richard Cousins

The seaplane involved in the fatal crash that claimed the life of Compass chief executive Richard Cousins made an "inexplicable" sharp turn before it plunged into a river, the aircraft's operator has said.

Cousins died on New Year's Eve when a seaplane he was travelling in with his two sons, his fiancé and her daughter went down in the Hawkesbury River, near the suburb of Cowan in Australia, killing all occupants. The family had been returning from a restaurant in Jerusalem Bay.

The crash killed all six occupants of the seaplane, including the pilot.

A preliminary report drew no conclusions over the cause of the crash and warned that the final report may not be able to offer an explanation.

The report published by The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said that the DHC-2 Beaver had made a steep right turn before nose-diving into the river at Jerusalem Bay.

Sydney Seaplanes described the move as "totally inexplicable".

Chief executive Aaron Shaw said: "The key question arising from the report is why the plane crashed approximately halfway down Jerusalem Bay… The plane simply should not have been where it was."

The pilot, Gareth Morgan, 44, had flown the route "hundreds" of times before and had more than 10,000 hours flying experience.

The report said no evidence had been found of a collision with an object or bird, or pre-impact structural damage.

The ATSB is investigating why he made the move with transport safety director Nat Nagy adding: "We don't have a preferred theory at this stage as to why he went off course."

Cousins was appointed group chief executive of Compass in 2006, following six years as CEO of building materials company BPB.

He was due to step down as chief executive in March and retire from the group in September, but following his untimely death Dominic Blakemore took over the role earlier than planned.

Speaking after the tragedy Compass Group chairman Paul Walsh said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news. The thoughts of everyone at Compass are with Richard's family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.

"It has been a great privilege to know Richard personally and to work with him for the last few years. Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain's leading companies."

Industry pays tribute to Richard Cousins who ‘made us all raise our game'>>

Compass confirms replacement after tragic death of CEO Richard Cousins>>

Videos from The Caterer archives

Are you looking for a new role? See all the current hospitality vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking