The pilot of the fatal plane crash in Melbourne was under investigation for a near-miss collision in 2015

Max Quartermain. Source: Corporate and Leisure Aviation.

The pilot involved in the fatal plane crash in Melbourne on Tuesday was under investigation for a near-miss midair collision over a Victorian ski resort in September 2015.

Veteran Australian pilot Max Quartermain and four elderly men from the USA died after their charter flight crashed into a retail centre shortly after taking off from Essendon airport yesterday morning.

According to The Australian, two years ago Quartermain came within 90 metres of colliding with another landing plane after experiencing GPS tracking difficulties in cloudy conditions.

“If this event did result in a midair collision, two aircraft would have been destroyed and 18 people would have been killed,” the Sydney pilot told ATSB investigators.

A draft report from the ATSB investigation into the Mount Hotham incident is due to be­ released next month.

Quartermain, 63, was a 38-year veteran of flying corporate charters, making regular trips to islands in Bass Strait, Tasmania and the Victorian ski fields.

He and his wife Cilla ran Corporate and Leisure Aviation out of Essendon.

Quartermain’s company ran a Beechcraft King Super King Air 200, but the plane Quartermain was flying appears to be a different registration to the one advertised on its website.

According to The Australian, the plane involved in yesterday’s crash was owned by Bendigo charter company, MyJet, but the registered operator was Australian Corporate Jet Centres, which makes it ­unclear as to who had ultimate responsibility for safety of the plane.

Read more about the pilot and the four American golfers killed in the crash here.

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