Major development after horror jet crash

Plane Crash
A plane has crashed into the waters of Phillips Bay off Mt Martha in the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Victoria, 29 November 2023. Police and other emergency services gather at a lookout on Esplanade Rd, Mt Martha. Picture: NCA Newswire / Tony Gough

A large-scale search has found what is believed to be human remains in Port Phillip Bay after a plane crash in Mount Martha on Sunday.

Victoria Police confirmed the remains are believed to be the missing occupants of the plane, a 56-year-old Brunswick man and a 30-year-old Surrey Hills man.

There were two people on board the light plane when it crashed.

Authorities later identified the pilot as 56-year-old Stephen Gale, the owner of aviation company Jetworks Aviation which operated the plane involved in the crash, and passenger James Rose.

James Rose and Stephen Gale were killed in a plane crash over Port Phillip Bay. Police believe they’ve now found their bodies. Picture: Supplied.
James Rose and Stephen Gale were killed in a plane crash over Port Phillip Bay. Police believe they’ve now found their bodies. Picture: Supplied.

It is understood Mr Rose, 30, was filming for a documentary TV show called Any Fool Can Fly when the jet he was in and another collided.

Emergency services were called to reports two Viper S-211 Marchetti light aircraft collided about 12 km west of Mornington over the bay about 1.45pm on Sunday.

One plane crashed into the water, while the other safely landed at Essendon airport and raised the alarm by raidion; ‘Viper 1 … mayday, mayday, mayday”.

It’s understood two jet trainer aircraft were conducting a formation flight over the bay when they collided between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday.

One of the two-seater aircraft had lost control, smashing into the water.

Plane Crash
Police and other emergency searched extensively for the crash site. Picture: NCA Newswire / Tony Gough

Numerous water and aircrafts were seen scouring an area off the Mornington Peninsula following the incident.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Angus Mitchell confirmed an investigation had been launched.

“The ATSB will investigate a mid-air collision between two aircraft over Port Phillip Bay on Sunday afternoon,” he said.

“The ATSB asks anyone who may have witnessed and has footage of the accident, or who has footage of the aircraft in any phase of their flights, to contact us via the witness form on our website at their earliest convenience.”

Plane Crash
A plane crashed into the waters of Phillips Bay off Mt Martha in the Mornington Peninsula on Sunday. Picture: NCA Newswire / Tony Gough

The planes are believed to be operated by Jetworks Aviation.

The company, owned by Mr Gale, runs 45-minute joy flights for a $7750 price tag offering a military fighter jet experience.

It’s understood the show Mr Rose was filming was for a five-part series in development without the backing of a broadcaster.

Pilot Stephen Gale owns Jetworks Aviation, which owns the jets that crashed in Port Phillip Bay on Sunday. Picture: Facebook
Pilot Stephen Gale owns Jetworks Aviation, which owns the jets that crashed in Port Phillip Bay on Sunday. Picture: Facebook
Supplied Editorial
James Rose, 30, was a passenger on board the light plane when it crashed in Mount Martha, Melbourne. Picture: cameracrew.com.au

Investigators are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Police believe the two planes would have been visible from Mount Martha between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or anyone with vision of the planes, is urged to contact police.