Emergency services at the scene of an ultralight plane crash at Knockrow. Photo by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter
Emergency services at the scene of an ultralight plane crash at Knockrow. Photo by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter

Ballina pilot passes away two weeks after Knockrow crash

RESPECTED Ballina pilot Ian Byrne has passed away, two weeks after his plane crashed at near Ballina.

Messages of support for Mr Byrne have been pouring in since he was pulled unconscious from his ultra-light aircraft at Knockrow on October 6.

Mr Byrne, 73, was has been at Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition since the crash and passed away last night.

RESPECTED: Ian Byrne, the Ballina pilot injured in yesterday’s crash.
RESPECTED: Ian Byrne, the Ballina pilot injured in yesterday’s crash.

Over the past fortnight friends, colleagues and former students have paid tribute to the man who was a key player in the local aeronautical community and a much loved former teacher at Ballina High School.

"The shock of Ian's crash and injuries has just been enormous," former Ballina High principal Ros Mayberry told The Northern Star a few days after the crash.

Mr Byrne was a long-time member of both the Ballina Aero Club and the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association. He was also involved in the Great Eastern Fly-in at Evans Head.

"The whole Ballina community is hoping and praying that he has a speedy recovery."

Following Mr Byrne's passing, police have again appealed for witnesses to the crash to come forward, saying they have received conflicting accounts of the crash.

Investigators from Recreational Aviation Australia are also continuing their investigation into the crash.

Police are preparing a report on the crash for the Coroner.


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