Families mourn Aussies lost in Philippines plane crash
Two Australian men killed in a plane crash in the Philippines were kind, intelligent and deeply loved, their families say.
In a statement on Friday, the families of Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam said their hearts were broken by their devastating loss but were strengthened by the outpouring of love and support from around the world.
"Simon and Karthi were kind, intelligent and deeply loved husbands, fathers, sons and brothers," the statement said.
"Both had so much more to give."
The two men were killed when a Cessna 340 crashed near a 2462-metre volcano on Sunday. Pilots Rufino James Crisostomo and Joel Martin also died in the crash.
Their plane came down shortly after taking off from Bicol International Airport in the Alby region for the hour-long flight to Manila.
The victims were retrieved from the site on Thursday after a search involving almost 200 troops, firefighters and volunteers including veteran mountaineers, that was hampered by heavy rains, gusty wind and thick clouds.
The wreckage was spotted from the air on Sunday, but an air force helicopter only managed to ferry the search team near the crash site on Wednesday morning after conditions improved.
Eric Apolonio, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said only the tail section of the plane remained intact, with the rest of the wreckage scattered on the barren upper slopes of the Mayon volcano.
Mr Chipperfield and Mr Santhanam were working with the Energy Development Corporation, which said it stood "in compassion and deep sorrow with the families of our fallen Kapamilyas in this unthinkable tragedy".
"We are working with authorities to bring them home to their loved ones where they may rest in peace," the company said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the two Australians and to the people of the Philippines after the deaths of the four men were initially confirmed by Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
"On behalf of the Australian government, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the two men Simon Chipperfield and Karthi Santhanam - both from Adelaide, my home town - as well as the Filipino nationals involved," Senator Wong told reporters in Fiji.
"The families of those who we have lost will be grieving, and I express not only our sympathy and condolences but to say to them our hearts go out to them in this time of great grief."
The families of Mr Chipperfield and Mr Santhanam said they were deeply grateful to the brave Philippine search and rescue teams and to the Australian and Philippine governments for their ongoing support.