Plane crash sees ‘doting’ dad killed in amateur-built jet as family pay tribute

A "loving partner" and "doting dad" was the sole tragedy after he crashed a amateur-built plane in a remote area of Australia.

Michael Hebbard, from Perth, was flying the Jabiru recreational plane at Caiguna, a small community on the Nullarbor Plain, a desolate and arrid part of Southern Australia.

In mysterious circumstances it went down, killing the 43-year-old father-of-two on Friday (December 16) at around 9.40am.

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A GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for his family, with family friends paying tribute to Mr Hebbard.

"He has left behind his loving family, Kristen, and two young children, who have been devastated by his loss," Shelly Thompson posted.

"Mike was a loving man who was always there for his family, he was a loving partner, a doting dad, and a great friend and neighbour.

"He was the guy everyone knew and liked and we will miss him so much."

"Mike was one of the most genuine, down-to-earth guys you were ever likely to meet and I wanted to do something to try and give something back to his partner Kristen and two young kids Finn and Stella at this terribly difficult time for them," Linton Allen posted.

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He reportedly took off from a small airstrip near the Caiguna Roadhouse, a hotel on the Eyre Highway – one of the longest stretches of road in the world.

Police said the plane crashed about 500 metres from the site. Some outlets reported that the make was Jabiru, an Australian civil light aircraft maker.

Other outlets claimed it was a Cessna, certain models of the two makers look very similar.

Mr Hebbard was believed to have just touched down from Esperance, a town on the south coast of Western Australia, en route to queensland in the north east.

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