National

Tributes flow for Vic plane crash victims

By AAP Newswire

One of the victims of the Mangalore mid-air plane collision lost his son in a plane crash 15 years ago.

It also emerged on Thursday that Chris Gobel, described as an aviation "legend", was planning to retire later this year.

The 79-year-old was among four people who died on Wednesday when two light planes collided at Mangalore in regional Victoria.

Gobel and his wife Wilma lost son Anthony, 35, in a light plane crash in NSW in 2005.

Bendigo Flying Club Chief Flying Instructor Linda Beilharz said the family was intricately involved with aviation.

"It took quite a bit of time to recover from that tragedy and this now just seems a repetition of it for Wilma," Ms Beilharz told AAP.

"It doesn't make sense, it's not fair."

Gobel died alongside a 27-year-old Melbourne West woman when their plane collided with another soon after they took off from Mangalore Airport around 11.30am on Wednesday.

Ido Segev, 30, and Peter Phillips, 47, were in the second plane and also died in the crash after flying from Tyabb.

The two training flights collided mid-air near Mangalore Airport and authorities found the planes a few kilometres from each other, with the bodies of the victims inside.

The Bendigo Flying Club on Thursday paid tribute to Mr Gobel, who ran Bendigo Aviation Services.

"Chris Gobel, a key aviation figure in Bendigo, was in one of the aircraft in his role as pilot examiner for Moorabbin Aviation Services," a Facebook post said.

With the Bendigo Flying Club supporting Wilma and youngest son Martin, Ms Beilharz said the nature of an accident that "doesn't seem to be easily explained" has challenged the whole community.

Peninsula Aero Club president Jack Vevers also paid tribute to Mr Gobel.

"Chris is a legend in aviation. His loss is just immense," he said of the Bendigo native.

He also remembered Mr Phillips, who was the lead instructor at Peninsula Aero Club after a career as a pilot and having grown up at the club.

"He was a very talented man, a fantastic teacher and well-loved by all of us," Mr Vevers said.

"He has left behind a young family."

Mr Phillips was in a privately-owned Beechcraft Travel Air D95A, operated by the Peninsula Aero Club at Tyabb, with Mr Segev.

The pair were qualified instructors on a training flight, Mr Vevers said.

Mr Segev had been connected to the Peninsula Aero Club for years and Mr Vevers said he was a "wonderful person" with proven skill.

"Ido (was) another highly-talented guy, world champion in flying radio control aircraft and drones. Also a flying instructor himself, aerobatic pilot, a display pilot for air shows," Mr Vevers said.

The Peninsula Aero Club has suspended all flights to allow pilots grieve.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement to local media that among the dead was an Israeli national.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said the other plane was a Piper Seminole twin-engine registered to Moorabbin Aviation Services, also on a training flight.

Mitchell Local Area Commander Inspector Peter Koger said witnesses saw the planes collide and one aircraft coming down.

CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are investigating.

ATSB investigators from Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane will look at the wreckage and surrounding area.