Emotional tribute to Bundaberg pilot Mervyn Mudge killed in small plane crash in remote Queensland

A Bundaberg pilot is being honoured by family and friends after he was killed in a horror crash in southern Queensland.

Mervyn Mudge, 63, was piloting a light plane when it went down at Palgrave between Warwick and Stanthorpe on Thursday afternoon.

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Emergency services were called to the site of the crash, where a small grass fire was sparked but quickly burnt out.

Mudge was declared dead at the scene.

It’s understood he was flying to see his granddaughter for her birthday.

“He is my soulmate, my best friend,” Mudge’s wife Aly told 7NEWS.com.au.

“(He is) the best husband anyone could ever ask for.”

Known for his humour and for making everyone he met smile, Mudge was affectionately called ‘Swervin’ Mervyn’ by his friends.

Mervyn Mudge, pictured with his wife Aly Mudge, was piloting a light plane when it crashed near Stanthorpe on Thursday. Credit: Facebook

Mudge was a highly experienced pilot, having served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a decorated pilot and engineer for 21 years, working with mirages and C-130s.

He also worked for 11 years as a commercial pilot for Japan Airlines (JAL) and had experience flying gliders and tow planes.

Mervyn Mudge pictured with former prime minister John Howard during his time as a commercial pilot. Credit: Facebook

“He was the best damn pilot and engineer on the planet,” Aly said, describing her husband as a ‘legend’ who was ‘larger than life’.

“(He was) loved by everyone with whom he came in contact.

“Many hearts are broken from this tragedy.”

Old friends and colleagues of Mudge took to social media to pay tribute, with one friend saying, “you’ve been one of those true friends that are once in a lifetime”.

Mervyn Mudge has been remembered by friends for his “candour and humour”. Credit: Facebook

“Rest in peace Swervin’! Until we meet again.”

Another said they loved his “candour and humour.”

“An absolute legend,” they said.

Mudge leaves behind his wife, four children and five grandchildren.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority have began assisting police with their investigation into the cause of the crash.

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