Juraj Glesk from Caloundra lost his life in the crash.
Juraj Glesk from Caloundra lost his life in the crash. Contributed

Pilot's shock at plane seat on floor before fatal crash

A PILOT says he was shocked to see an aircraft seat "sitting on the floor" just a week before five people died in a crash.

Caloundra skydiving instructor Juraj Glesk was killed in the March 2014 Caboolture crash, as were pilot Andrew Aitken, engaged couple Joey King and Rahuia Hohua and skydiving instructor Glenn Norman.

At an inquest on Tuesday, Raglan airstrip operator Ron Creed said he saw a pilot's seat sitting on the Cessna U206 floor.

Mr Creed, a pilot himself, told Brisbane Coroners Court his first thought when seeing the seat was: "Oh s---, that doesn't look good".

"It's something you've got to take very seriously," Mr Creed added. "I actually put it on the rails for him."

Coroner Terry Ryan was told the aircraft's owner Paul Turner previously had a different Cessna crash in 2010.

Mr Creed said Mr Turner approached him in about 2012.

"He was operating out of Gladstone and they had an accident," Mr Creed said.

"The Gladstone Airport, from what I could gather, they wanted to kick him out of Gladstone.

"He asked me if they could operate out of one of our strips."

Mr Creed said he was wary of skydiving operations generally.

But after consulting his own family, he decided to give Mr Turner "a go".

"I used to say to Paul, 'Just keep it safe and keep it professional'. He did everything I asked him to do."

Mr Creed said Mr Turner once called him to say a plane's engine was "running a bit rough".

"I said to him, you've already had one accident. I don't want you killing anyone ... on my property. I said: 'It's not to leave until it's fixed properly'."

Mr Creed said the two of them investigated, and the problem with a cylinder was resolved by the next morning.

The inquest heard Mr Turner's skydiving operation stored gear at the airstrip and had a designated drop zone nearby.

Earlier, Australian Transport Safety Bureau senior investigator Eric Blankenstein said even minor rearward movement of the pilot's seat could impede a pilot's ability to control the plane.

The inquest continues. -NewsRegional



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