Peter Lynch was the father of three young children. Photo: Facebook Perth Skyshow plane crash victims Peter Lynch and Endah Cakrawati.
Family and friends and the greater flying community are mourning the loss of pilot Peter Lynch and his passenger and partner Endah Cakrawati, who died on Thursday evening when his plane crashed into the Swan River during the City of Perth’s Skyshow event.
Mr Lynch, 52, and Ms Cakrawati, 30, died after Mr Lynch’s 1948-built Grumman Mallard plane crashed into the river before thousands of horrified people gathered for the annual Australia Day fireworks display.
The event was called off shortly after, with Labor leader Mark McGowan on Friday praising police and emergency services for their response to the tragedy and backing the decision to halt the fireworks.
“The decision to cancel the Skyworks yesterday was the right call given the tragic circumstances. It was a difficult decision to make, but importantly, it was the right decision,” he said.
Laura Lynch posted a heartfelt message on her Facebook page at midnight on Friday in the wake of the tragedy involving the father of her three children.
“With great difficulty I am unbearably saddened to confirm that my great friend and the father of my children passed after a tragic accident on the Swan River in Perth yesterday,” she wrote.
“Service details to follow in due course.”
Friends wrote back to Ms Lynch in support, expressing sympathy at the loss of a man who “lived his life with great joy … a good mate, father and friend”.
It is understood he and Ms Lynch had separated but had two sons and a daughter together.
Mr Lynch’s sister, Helen Lynch, said part of the family was travelling to Perth following the shocking news of his death.
“Just to confirm my brother Matthew’s post that our brother Peter and his new partner Endah died in yesterday’s Perth plane crash,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“Matty is coming to stay here for a bit in Braidwood and our sister, other brother and mother have headed to Perth.
“Thanks for your understanding. It is a tremendous shock and we are still processing.
“We will miss him.”
Mr Lynch had recently moved to Perth from Brisbane to take a role as business development director at Fortescue Metals Group.
Ms Cakrawati worked with Mr Lynch as investor relations manager at Cokal, a mining company he founded in 2009.
It is not yet known if she has family or friends in Perth or Australia.
Just six months ago – around the time Mr Lynch moved to Perth – Ms Cakrawati had written on her Facebook page: “I have a great life, great friends, and great LOVE…..JUST PERFECT.”
Friends in Indonesia have paid tribute to Ms Cakrawati, whose photos show her going out with friends, playing the guitar and modelling.
“Rest in peace for my beautiful friend.. Still proud of u sis Endah Aricakrawati, u reach ur dream high.. We love u,” wrote one friend.
“Rest in peace my dearest friend,” said another.
WA’s acting Police Commissioner Stephen Brown also paid tribute to the pair, who he described as “two wonderful people”.
“And I extend those sympathies on behalf of all emergency service workers, not only the police but all emergency service workers in Western Australia,” he said.
Aviation community pays tribute
Mr Lynch told an aviation blog in a 2013 interview that he loved flying not just for the friends he made, but for the rush of being airborne, the “pure pleasure of getting up in the sky and having the freedom to go virtually anywhere”.
He said the best flying experience he’d ever experienced was after buying the Grumman Mallard plane in the US and completing the training to fly it, when he set off to fly over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.
Aviation groups have posted tributes to Mr Lynch, who was held in high regard.
“It is with great sadness as we try to come to terms with the tragic news of the passing of Peter Lynch,” the Great Eastern Fly-in Committee wrote.
“Peter was a man of vision and one with a passion for aviation and was well loved and respected in our close knit flying community.
“Peter for many years attended the Evans Head Great Eastern Fly In, was the man with a vision for an Air Park at Evans Head, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Evans Head Aviation Museum.
“Our deepest and sincere condolences are expressed to Peter’s family and many friends who are grieving with his sad passing.
“Clear skies Peter….and may you rest in peace, our dear friend and colleague.”
WA community ‘shaken’ by tragedy
Labor leader Mark McGowan said the Swan River tragedy had shaken the WA community.
“My heart goes out to the families and friends of the two people involved. They’re in all our thoughts and prayers today,” Mr McGowan said.
“Thank you to our amazing emergency service workers for doing all the work they do in the most difficult circumstances.”
The Grumman Mallard was intended to have been displayed frequently at the Evans Head Aviation Museum and used to promote the airpark project around Australia.
Clive Palmer and colleagues also pay tribute
Former Queensland colleagues of Peter Lynch have also paid tribute to the aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur.
In a joint statement, Waratah Coal and chairman Clive Palmer said the “well known and respected” member of the mining community in Australia and south east Asia would be missed.
“Peter’s ingenuity, business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to design, develop and manage a variety of large scale underground and open cut coal projects,” the statement said.
Mr Lynch held a number of senior positions throughout his Queensland mining career, which started in 1989. He joined Waratah Coal in 2006, and the company said his vision for the Galilee Basin mine and related projects helped create “one of Queensland’s greatest mine, rail and port infrastructure projects”.
“His zest for business flowed into his personal life, where his passions for restoring cars, boating and flying, were infectious,” they said.
“Our sincere condolences are expressed to Peter’s family and friends. He will be sadly missed by all who worked alongside him, especially by the Staff and Management here at Waratah Coal and the Mineralogy Group.”
– with David Prestipino and Rachel ClunFollow WAtoday on Twitter
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.