Killed pilot was ‘beautiful inside and out’

Nikita Walker moved to Tasmania to chase her dream of being a pilot.

Tragically the 30-year-old died in a remote forest in a mountainous part of the state after the light plane she was flying plummeted on Saturday.

Tasmania Police feared the worst when the twin-engine plane crashed in rugged wilderness near Federation Peak at 8.30am, spending the next 12 hours searching for the wreckage.

Ms Walker, whose name was released by Tasmania Police on Monday, was on a routine flight to collect passengers in Melaleuca when the plane’s distress beacon was activated about 40 minutes after takeoff.

She had only moved from the Sunshine Coast to Tasmania two years ago to learn how to fly with airline company Par Avion.

“Our thoughts are with Nikita’s family and her loved ones at this difficult time,” Tasmania Police said in a statement.

Their investigation to determine what went wrong is being jointly undertaken by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The plane’s emergency location transmitter was recovered from the wreckage on Sunday and will be examined in Hobart.

Nikita Walker, 30, of Tranmere in Hobart, who died when the plane she was flying crashed on Saturday. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

It’s believed Ms Walker was trying to make a turn when the crash happened in low level cloud.

Airlines of Tasmania suspended all flights on Sunday as the investigation started.

Managing director Shannon Wells said it was a tragedy for the company.

“We are mourning the loss of a great member of our team who was not only a work colleague but a much loved friend to everyone at the airline,” Mr Wells said.

“We have lost one of our own.”

He said counsellors and psychologists would assess the team to make sure they were safe to fly.

“I want to make sure our pilots are fit and fully capable of flying when they get behind the wheels of the planes,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of tears shed by myself and most of my colleagues.

“We are a small family business. We train up a lot of our people here and see the same people every day. We know everyone by name and when one of us doesn’t come home it really hits hard.”

Ms Walker moved to Tasmania from Queensland to pursue her love of flying.Source:Supplied

The crash is being investigated.Source:Supplied

Mr Wells said Ms Walker was experienced and had flown the route several times.

Rosemary Sargison wrote on social media that they were lucky enough to get a flight and a boat ride with Ms Walker in Tasmania in January.

“So sad … we were blessed to have her company for the whole day as she also drove the boat we were in on Bathurst Harbour,” Ms Sargison wrote.

“Sincere condolences to her family on the loss of this gorgeous young woman who was so beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside.”

Ms Walker’s family have flown to Hobart since the crash.

A report is being prepared for the Coroner.

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