THE LOCAL aviation community is in shock after a well-known local pilot/ instructor died in a light plane crash at Lismore Airport yesterday morning.
About 9am the ultralight plane on its maiden flight carrying only its pilot, Lismore man, Wayne Fisher, had begun to take off from Lismore airport, before something went wrong and the plane hit the ground.
Relieving Duty Officer Acting Inspector Virginia Szaak of Richmond Local Area Command spoke soon after the crash.
"(The plane has) gotten about 100m into the air... it's collided with the ground, killing the pilot instantly," Acting Insp Szaak said.
At that point she said that the person on board the Ultralight RV12 was a local Lismore man who was an experienced pilot associated with the Northern Rivers Aero Club.
The pilot was later in the day confirmed to be Wayne Fisher, 62, a pilot and instructor with over 30 years experience in aviation.
Late yesterday, Inspector Matt Kehoe of Richmond Local Area Command said that Mr Fisher's next of kin had been advised, however positive identification of Mr Fisher would not be given until dental records were examined.
Mr Fisher was the owner and operator of Lismore-based Spectrum Aviation, and had worked on the construction of over 230 ultralight aircraft, according to the business's website.
A friend and fellow pilot, who did not want to be named, said he was very shocked to hear about Mr Fisher's death.
"He's a very experienced flyer and a very respected flying instructor," the friend said.
"The entire aviation community is in deep shock over this."
The friend said Mr Fisher had been flying "since he was a boy" and that he was a regular performer at aviation meets, most notably at the Great Eastern Fly In at Evans Head each year.
"He was a real gentleman - very quiet, reserved, very safety-conscious," the friend said.
"He will be very sadly missed."
Insp Kehoe said on-scene investigations into the incident, conducted with Recreational Aviation Australia, concluded yesterday afternoon.
The airport was closed up until the late afternoon, causing disruption to Rex services, Insp Kehoe said.