Christian Kath still missing after plane crash off Venice, Florida with his wife and daughter aboard

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Little girl will grow up without her parents and older sister, 12, after their plane crashed into the sea while she was at a friend’s sleepover – killing them all instantly

  • Christian Kath, 43, was piloting light plane that went down off Florida coast 
  • He is still missing while his wife Misty, 43, and daughter Lilly, 12, sadly died 
  • Mr Kath had only recently completed training for his private pilot licence 
  • The family are originally from Australia and relocated to the US  five years ago 

An Australian man is missing and his wife and daughter have tragically died after their light plane crashed into the water off the coast of Florida in the United States.

Christian Kath, 43, originally from Gympie in Queensland, was piloting the Piper Cherokee plane with his wife Misty, 43, originally from Fiji, and their 12-year-old daughter Lilly in the passenger seats. 

The couple had relocated a few years ago to St Petersburg, Florida where their youngest daughter and only other child, Harper, was having a sleepover at a friend’s house when the plane went down.

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Mr Kath shared a post to social media in March this year celebrating his first solo flight saying he was ‘halfway through’ his private pilot’s licence after taking up flying lessons in December 2021. 

Christian Kath still missing after plane crash off Venice, Florida with his wife and daughter aboard

Mr and Mrs Kath and their daughters Lilly (right) and Harper (centre) had relocated to the United States

Venice Police Department said their search for Mr Kath is ongoing and have not hinted at a cause for crash after the plane went down off the Florida coast (pictured)

Venice Police Department said their search for Mr Kath is ongoing and have not hinted at a cause for crash after the plane went down off the Florida coast (pictured)

‘Thanks for putting up with my early morning lessons and late night studying Misty Kath; it will all feel worth while when we can fly to the Keys for a weekend away with Lily and Harper soon,’ he wrote.

‘Feel lucky to live and be learning to fly in such a beautiful part of the world!’

The family rented the plane from St Petersburg and went on a short trip south to the nearby city of Venice for dinner and were understood to be returning when the plane crashed into the water off Venice Beach.

Local police said Ms Kath’s body was found a few kilometres from the partially submerged wreck while Lilly was found inside the plane. 

Emergency crews from Venice and Sarasota County are still searching for Mr Kath. 

After completing high school in Gympie, Mr Kath moved to nearby Dagun, where he worked as an operating manager for local dairy and honey producers.

Mr Kath shared a photo with his daughters on Harpers first day of school in 2018 (pictured)

Mr Kath shared a photo with his daughters on Harpers first day of school in 2018 (pictured)

Ms Kath is from Fiji and moved to Australia where she studied at the University of Queensland. 

Five years ago, the family moved to Chicago in the United States then onto Florida. 

Authorities were alerted by the FAA who reported that a single engine plane took off from Venice Municipal Airport about 7.30pm Saturday but did not return to its originating airport.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. 

‘It’s tragic. It’s a family. Those are the things that anybody can get choked up on,’ local resident Charlie Poch told Fox13 Tampa Bay. 

The wreck was lifted out of the water and sent to Jacksonville where it will be examined as part of the ongoing investigation.

Mr Kath took up training for his private pilot's license in December 2021

Mr Kath took up training for his private pilot’s license in December 2021 

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