Logan Central PCYC sergeant Rachel Whitford did a lot for Logan City.
Logan Central PCYC sergeant Rachel Whitford did a lot for Logan City.

Call to bring plane crash victim’s body home

A GO FUND ME page has been set up to help the family of ex-Logan police officer Rachel Whitford, who died in a place crash in South Australia on the weekend.

The page, which has already attracted $3000 in donations, says the family needs money to help bring Ms Whitford's body back home.

"This Go Fund Me page has been set up to bring Rachel home and provide support to her family during this difficult time. It's our opportunity to give back to an incredibly loving, selfless woman who gave her all to everyone else."

This week, Logan City Council administrator Tamara O'Shea paid tribute to the caring retired police officer and sent condolences to her family.

Ms O'Shea said Ms Whitford had served Logan in a variety of roles and was a branch member of Logan PCYC, later to became branch manager at PCYC Queensland. She was also a former board member and chair of Logan's Access Community Services, for nearly 12 years.

"On a personal level, Rachel was the mother of five children and her leadership skills and passion to help others achieve their goals was second to none," Ms O'Shea said.

"Her commitment to community policing and passion for working with young people reflected her dedication to the people of Logan."

In a foreboding Facebook post from South Australia's Outback, Ms Whitford thanked her pilot for another safe landing. Five hours later both were dead.

The former Logan police sergeant died in a plane crash in the South Australian bush on Saturday after her final Facebook post.

The retired sergeant, 48, was killed along with pilot Peter Gesler, 59, also from southeast Queensland, when their Brumby 610 light plane crashed near Leigh Creek, 540km north of Adelaide just after 5pm.

In her Facebook post, Ms Whitford thanked the pilot for a safe landing and said she had travel sickness. "Grateful for another safe landing and my cautious pilot!" she wrote on Facebook.

"Refuelling Pete's plane and so gave (sic) to say I have my peppermint oil and copaiba oil on hand to rub on.

The wreckage of the plane. Picture: Simon Cross
The wreckage of the plane. Picture: Simon Cross

"It has helped me through a severe bout of travel when I could not keep anything down. But I should have bought Easy Air - damn".

Ms Whitford, a mother of five from Wynnum and pilot Mr Gesler were among a small group of travellers who had been staying at Marree, 650km north of Adelaide.

The group planned to attend the Birdsville Big Red Bash from July 16-18, a music festival headlined by Midnight Oil.

The pair flew from Maree Airport to William Creek where they refuelled and bought ice creams at the William Creek Hotel.

The crash happened after they left William Creek Airport at 4pm heading to Leigh Creek, where they were to meet friends and stay the night.

In 2012, Ms Whitford's devotion to policing was recognised when she was awarded the Australian Police Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Access Community Services also paid homage to her leadership skills and instigated the inaugural Rachel Whitford Women in Leadership Award in 2017.

Ms Whitford's family also revealed a little of their loss in a statement. "She was one of the kindest and most selfless people you could ever meet.

"She had boundless energy and made an impact on everyone she met."

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

Find the Go Fund Me page here.