‘One of the good guys’: Tributes flow for Australian family killed in Florida light plane crash

An Australian family has been identified as the victims of a light plane crash off the coast of Florida on Saturday.

Queensland father Christian Kath, 42, was piloting the plane when the aircraft crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. His wife Misty Kath, 43, and their eldest daughter Lily, 12, were on board as passengers.

All three were killed as a result of the crash.

The family is survived by Lily’s sister, 10-year-old Harper, who was not on the flight.

Since the crash, local police have recovered Lily’s body, which was found inside the aircraft, while the body of the mother was found in the Gulf. The search for the father’s body has so far been unsuccessful and has since been called off.

The family was living in St Petersburg in Florida after moving from Gympie in Queensland.

The local police department in Venice, Florida, said the aircraft is now being taken to Jacksonville where the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

Just after 3am AEDT on Thursday, the Venice Police Department announced they would suspend the search for the father’s body.

“After consultation with the US Coast Guard, the search for the missing male pilot, Christian Kath, has been discontinued at this time,” a statement from the department said.

The light plane was found off the coast of Florida. Credit:Venice Police Department

“The possible parameters of the search area exceed over 2,000 square nautical miles. Family members have been notified.”

In March, Christian celebrated his first solo flight in a social media post.

“Started my lessons in late December and am about halfway though (sic) my private pilot license now,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Thanks for putting up with my early morning lessons and late night studying Misty Kath; it will all feel worthwhile when we can fly to the Keys for a weekend away with Lily and Harper soon.”

A former colleague of Christian, Stuart French, expressed his condolences to the family’s loved ones.

“Chris was one of the good guys,” he wrote on social media.

“I will miss you Christian. I was looking forward to you returning to Australia but now that will never happen. Rest in peace buddy. You will be missed.”

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