A millionaire agribusiness leader and his son along with an experienced pilot who rubbed shoulders with actor Chris Hemsworth have been identified as the three victims of a horror plane crash.
The Cessna aircraft crashed in a remote bushland near Lowood an hour west of Brisbane on Monday, killing all three on board.
The crash scene is so remote emergency responders experienced great difficulty accessing the wreckage on foot.
Tom Strachan, 49, and his 20-year-old son Noah have been identified as victims, along with experienced pilot Gary Liehm.
Mr Strachan was a farmer and businessman who founded mining, construction and agricultural labour hire firm AWX in 2000, which was sold for a reported $25 million on 2016.
He was working with investment firm Packhorse as executive director and chief storyteller, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Agribusiness mogul Tom Strachan (pictured) was one of three men killed in the crash
Gary Liehm (pictured right with famous client Chris Hemsworth) was an experienced pilot
His son Noah was an analyst at Brisbane real estate and investment company Benstead Holdaway.
Noah was studying property economics and business at Queensland University of Technology and previously attended Brisbane Grammar School, the same school as his father.
Mr Liehm was chief executive of Executive Helicopters who had flown for SeaWorld, Queensland emergency authorities.
He also privately chauffeured celebrity clients, including the Hemsworths.
Mr Strachan Sr has been remembered as a much-loved mentor always willing to offer a helping hand.
Almost a year ago, he generously donated $500,000 to his former school Brisbane Grammar to go towards supporting regional and Indigenous students.
‘We need to be a school that attracts kids who come from all walks of life. The opportunity of an education can spur them on to become leaders and give back to society. That’s why I think bursaries are so important, Mr Strachan wrote on LinkedIn at the time.
Tom Strachan’s business analyst son Noah, 20, also died in the crash
The tragic death of Tom Strachan (pictured) and his son sparked an outpouring of tributes
His Facebook account also shows his love of horses.
Mr Strachan’s death has sparked an outpouring of tributes.
‘Tom just took on the world; he was so successful and always made time for everyone,’ a shattered friend told the Courier Mail.
‘It’s incredibly tragic – he was beautiful, generous and an absolute horseman. He loved his horses.’
Another friend posted on Facebook: ‘We have known Tom since he was a boy and he was always a vibrant force, destined to mark a big mark on the world around him. Heartfelt condolences to the family. A huge loss, losing not only Tom but his son Noah with so much of his life ahead of him.’
Shocked business associates also took to LinkedIn to pay tribute.
‘My agribusiness connection to Tom, had been conversational and aspirational,’ one woman posted.
‘His property(s) were on my road trip map to visit (post- Pandemic). We shared similar values, and philanthropic community values. He loved it, I aspired it. An emerging Ag business connection and industry friendship gone too soon.’
There are also heartfelt tributes to the pilot.
‘I got to know the pilot, Gary Liehm very well. He was a true gentleman and real character. Always joking but so serious when it came to flying,’ one man posted.
I’d spent many hours flying with Gary sitting along side him in his Euro Helicopters and always felt extremely safe. He was an exceptional pilot and can only think that the plane he was flying, failed him.
Pilot Gary Liehm (pictured) was chief executive of Executive Helicopters
The aircraft wasn’t reported as missing to authorities until almost five hours after the crash
It’s understood bad weather caused the aircraft to crash in remote bushland (pictured, police at the scene outside of Lowood)
The plane took off from Roma at 7.20am on Monday and made a brief stop at Dalby shortly before 9am.
The aircraft took off again at 9.15am bound for Brisbane’s Archerfield Airport before it plummeted to the ground 45 minutes later in bad weather near Fernvale.
The aircraft wasn’t reported as missing to authorities until almost five hours later.
The plane was found split in two, with wreckage strewn 50m apart.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has launched an investigation.
‘The ATSB expects to deploy a team of transport safety investigators from its Brisbane office, with expertise in engineering, aircraft operations and maintenance, to the accident site on Tuesday,’ a spokesperson said.
Emergency services were called to the scene just outside of Lowood near Fernvale, northwest of Ipswich in the state’s southeast on Monday afternoon