Television cameraman James Rose is believed to be one of the men who was onboard an ex-military plane that crashed into into Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay yesterday.
Two light Viper S-211 Marchetti planes collided about 1.40pm, with one jet plunging into the bay, about 12 kilometres west of Mount Martha.
The search for the missing men continued this morning, with the men yet to be found.
The surviving pilot of the second plane sent a mayday call after the crash, telling authorities he had seen a “splash mark” in the water where the Viper went down.
“Viper 1 … mayday, mayday, mayday,” the pilot said.
A voice on the other end of the call responded: “Viper 1, roger your mayday. You anticipate Viper 1 in the water?”
“I am anticipating Viper 2 in the water… we can see a splash mark,” the pilot said.
The second plane managed the land safely at Essendon Airport. The plane, which showed signs of damage is currently blocked off with police tape in its hangar.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell told Today that it was “very early” into the investigation.
He said they would speak with the surviving pilot today.
“We understand the planes involved were ex-Singapore Air Force trainers. We believe they were taking part for a promotional photoshoot at the time,” he said.
“Obviously formation flying by its very nature is close proximity flying. There is special training involved and requirements to be able to do that.
“At this stage, we are unsure whether it was exactly something around communication, whether it was something around the aircraft itself.”
Search crews yesterday recovered wreckage of the light aircraft, including orange debris, a beacon floating device, and a plane tyre.
Police believe both aircrafts would have been visible from Mount Martha between 1pm and 2pm.
Flight radar vision and video showed the two former military planes flying in formation and were performing aerobatic maneuvers shortly before the crash.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau are expected to investigate, along with police.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident, or anyone with vision of the planes.