Her father who was flying the plane "didn’t have years of flying experience. He wasn’t a long-time, seasoned pilot," the girl's granddad said.
Christian Kath, 42, was flying a plane over the Gulf of Mexico with his wife Misty, 43 and their 12-year-old daughter Lily when they crashed on Saturday evening. The youngest in the family was at a sleepover the night of the crash. "She was trying to text and call her mum and sister in the morning [asking] when were they coming to pick her up," Christian's father Chris Kath told 7 News. Christian Kath was a businessman who had been living with his family in the United States for about four years. The Queensland man was flying from an airstrip in their Florida hometown of St Petersburg to Venice to have a “sunset dinner”. They crashed on their way back to St Petersburg when they crashed, his father said. “Christian and Misty had a lovely family. I want Christian to also be remembered for his depth of character as well as his loving character,” he said. “He really will be missed. The world will be a poorer place for not having Christian.”
An Australian man is missing and his wife and daughter are dead after their plane crashed into the water off the coast of Florida in a horrific accident.https://t.co/ACKXqJJAcL— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) December 7, 2022
Although his son "wasn't a long-time, seasoned pilot," his father told the outlet that he didn't think the 42-year-old would do something to put his family in danger. “Christian was not a risk-taker, in any way, shape or form - and not one to push the boundaries in that sort of way, at all,” said Kath.
“He wasn’t doing anything that he should have done. Having said that, he didn’t have years of flying experience. He wasn’t a long-time, seasoned pilot. He was relatively fresh, you can say. Who knows what went wrong - if it was pilot error, and I’m acknowledging that it possibly was ...But it’s just one of those things.”
According to PEOPLE, the single-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off at 7:30 p.m. from the Venice Municipal Airport in Florida on Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration stated. Christian earned his license on July 21, per WWSB. Director of Flight Operations for Agape Flights Gregory Haman often flies out of Venice Airport twice a week and called the crash a "tragic thing."
A Gympie family has been identified as the victims of a light plane crash on the Gulf Coast in Florida. 42-year-old Christian Kath, 43-year-old Misty Kath and their 12-year-old daughter Lily were identified as the passengers of the aircraft | @PipSheehan pic.twitter.com/9G0p9fh0xm— 10 News First Queensland (@10NewsFirstQLD) December 7, 2022
“I got a family and a small airplane, two boys of my own, a lot of times we’ll fly to St. Petersburg for dinner,” said Haman. “My heart breaks on multiple levels both as a pilot, as a dad and as a husband. It’s a sad thing, it’s a tragic thing anytime you have loss of life, for me it definitely hits close to home.” As to what could have gone wrong, he thinks it could be "loss of power, I understand that it was after dark, depending on the experience level of the pilot,” said Haman. “A lot of times when you’re taking off over the Gulf at night there is zero reference to the horizon, especially on a dark night, that could’ve played a possibility.”
Cover Image Source: YouTube | 9 News Australia