Seaplane flew dramatically off course before crashing and killing six in Australia

Graphic Supplied

The report's release comes a month after the tragic plane crash which claimed the lives of six people on December 31.

The report added: "The operator reported that the aircraft's expected and standard flight path after departing Cottage Point was to climb initially to the north then turn right along Cowan Creek toward the main body of the Hawkesbury River, until sufficient altitude was gained to fly above terrain and return to Rose Bay".

Mr Cousins was due to step down from his position as chief executive of catering giant Compass in March, while his son Will was head of press for pro-European Union campaign group Open Britain.

His fiancee Emma Bowden, her daughter Heather, Cousins' sons William and Edward were also killed in the crash.

Sydney Seaplanes chief executive Aaron Shaw noted "the key question arising from the report is why the plane crashed approximately half way down Jerusalem Bay. the plane simply should not have been where it was".

Aviation experts ruled out that the aircraft had steered sharp left into Jerusalem Bay and attempted a 90-degree bank angle turn.

"A turn of this nature at low altitude by a pilot with Gareth's skill, experience and intimate knowledge of the location is totally inexplicable."

The DHC-2 Beaver was powered by a Pratt and Whitney "Wasp Junior" nine-cylinder engine with a three-blade propeller.

The ATSB likened the decision to enter Jerusalem Bay to turning into a dead end street instead of onto a freeway.




The DHC-2 Beaver, piloted by Canadian Gareth Morgan, slammed into Jerusalem Bay on the Hawkesbury River with high-profile United Kingdom businessman Richard Cousins and his family on board on December 31, killing all five passengers and the pilot.

The plane had last undergone maintenance in November.

Several people reported the sound from the aircraft's engine was constant and appeared normal.

The ATSB found no evidence that a collision with a bird or other object might have led to the crash.

The seaplane did not have a cockpit voice or flight data recorder but there are hopes mobiles phones recovered from the scene may shed light on events prior to the crash.

Air crash investigators are trying to determine why pilot Gareth Morgan changed his route in the doomed New Year's Eve flight.

The pilot was reported to have "a high standard of health" but investigators are set to examine autopsy results when they become available from the NSW coroner.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff as it was climbing for a flight south to Sydney following a restaurant lunch.

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