Get insights into Stephen Gale death and obituary details from this article as the 56-year-old pilot passed away following the Port Phillip plane crash.

The aviation community is in mourning following the tragic plane crash over Port Phillip Bay on November 19, 2023, which claimed the life of veteran pilot Stephen Gale.

Gale, piloting an S-211 Marchetti jet, collided with another jet of the same model flying in formation, resulting in a devastating crash about 12 km west of Mount Martha.

His passenger, 30-year-old camera operator James Rose, lost his life while filming footage for a new TV show.

The second jet, under the control of pilot John Smith and carrying another camera operator, miraculously landed safely at Essendon Airport after the mid-air collision.

Although Smith and his passenger emerged physically unharmed, they were understandably shaken by the harrowing incident.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has initiated an investigation into the crash, aiming to uncover the circumstances that led to this tragic loss in the aviation community.

Stephen Gale Death: Port Phillip Bay Plane Crash Details

In a tragic turn of events, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spearheaded a search and rescue mission for the occupants of two crashed S-211 Marchetti jets, identified as Gale and Rose.

The operation, which unfolded with the involvement of three rescue helicopters, water police, and volunteer marine rescue units, led to the discovery of the wreckage on the seabed.

On Monday, November 20, human remains believed to be those of Gale and Rose were recovered.

Stephen Gale, the aviator, is revealed as the co-pilot in the vintage fighter jet that sank off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. (Image Source: Daily Mail)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has taken charge of investigating the collision, urging witnesses or anyone with footage of the incident to come forward through their website.

The ATSB plans to unveil a preliminary report in approximately two months, with a comprehensive final report slated for the conclusion of the investigation.

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The ill-fated jets, part of a company offering joy flights over Melbourne, were engaged in a formation flight over the bay.

Manufactured in Italy, the S-211 Marchetti jets boast a military training legacy in various countries, including Singapore and the Philippines, showcasing speeds of up to 740 km/h and adeptness in aerobatic maneuvers.

Stephen Gale Obituary: Family Mourns The Loss

Stephen Gale was a passionate pilot who had more than 30 years of flying experience. He had flown various aircraft types, including helicopters, gliders and jets.

He was also an instructor who taught many aspiring pilots how to fly. Gale’s family described him as a loving husband, father and grandfather who had a zest for life and adventure.

He is survived by his wife Jane, his children David and Sarah, and his grandchildren Emily and Jack.

Stephen Gale obituary
Stephen Gale, the flight maestro, is commemorated as a “man of colossal skill and expertise” in the aviation realm. (Image Source: ABC News)

James Rose was a talented camera operator who worked on several TV shows, including Masterchef Australia.

He was filming footage for a new show that featured aerial views of Melbourne when the accident happened.

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Rose’s family said he was a kind, generous and fun-loving person who had a passion for photography and videography. He is survived by his parents, Peter and Mary, his sister Anna and his girlfriend, Lisa.

The aviation community has expressed its condolences to the families and friends of Gale and Rose and praised their professionalism and skills. A memorial service will be held for them at a later date.

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