Less than a fortnight before he died in a fiery plane crash in Melbourne, a US tourist visiting Milford Sound wrote an eerie Facebook post about how he was scared of flying.

Texan entrepreneur Glenn Garland had been on a tour of New Zealand and Australia with his partner and friends visiting luxury sites and playing golf.

The 67-year-old and four others were killed in the crash near Essendon Airport about 9am yesterday.

On February 8 Garland wrote: "Laurie [his partner] about to board. How can she be so calm when I'm worried about needing an extra pair of underwear?"


Later that day he added another post which read: "Only burned 5000 calories of anxiety on the flight over. Beats a 5-hour one-way bus ride".

Then the day before the fatal flight, Garland wrote another post about the "really tough and windy conditions" at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

He also said Melbourne was a "magnificent and amazing city".

"We had rain squalls, and wind that was almost Biblical in the fierceness. The only thing we missed was a plague of locusts. My hat is off to the Aussies that play in this every day," he said.

Friends and family of the American victims - Greg DeHaven, Russell Munsch, John Washburn and Garland - have identified the men's bodies.

Their wives had accompanied them to Australia, but were not on board the plane when tragedy struck. The women had reportedly organised to go on a day trip along the Great Ocean Rd, an Australian Heritage site, that day.

Pictures show the group at various sites around New Zealand and Australia where Garland spoke of playing golf with Munsch, a well-known law firm partner also from Austin, Texas.

Garland was also pictured with DeHaven, a 70-year-old retired FBI agent, from Spicewood, Texas, and Washburn, a 67-year-old retiree also from Spicewood, in an album posted on Facebook with photos from their adventures.

They had planned to continue their tour in Tasmania's King Island, which boasts two of Australia's best public golf courses. They were due to arrive on the island on Tuesday morning.

Instead, the four perished in the plane crash that Victorian Premier Dan Andrews described as the worst aviation disaster the state had seen in 30 years.

Texas-based energy company CLEAResult, for which Garland was a former chief executive, released a statement saying the company was "heartbroken to hear of [his] passing".

"Glenn was an inspirational leader who co-founded our company with a unique vision for the vast potential of the energy efficient industry," the statement read.

We at CLEAResult are heartbroken to hear of Glenn Garland’s passing. Glenn was a visionary leader who co-founded our...

Posted by CLEAResult on Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The company's co-founder Jim Stimmel, a close friend of Garland, said he was devastated by news of his death.

"Glenn Garland was more than a colleague to me, he was a visionary and a close friend. I am devastated to hear of his passing and my heart and thoughts are with his family," he said.

"We have lost an incredible man. I am blessed to have known and worked closely with Glenn for many years."

Family members have posted tributes to Munsch and DeHaven on Facebook.

Russell Munsch and Greg DeHaven were named as the first two victims of the Melbourne plane crash.
Russell Munsch and Greg DeHaven were named as the first two victims of the Melbourne plane crash.

DeHaven's younger sister, Danielle Wicht, broke the news to many on Facebook, telling loved ones her brother had been killed.

"Dear friends and family, my handsome, athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident while on his 'once in a lifetime' trip to Australia," she wrote.

The US bankruptcy law firm Munsch co-founded released a statement about the partner saying he had retired but was "one of the best of all time".

Glenn Garland and Russell Munsch took a trip to Milford Sound while in the South Island.
Glenn Garland and Russell Munsch took a trip to Milford Sound while in the South Island.

The firm said Munsch was involved in some of the most prominent bankruptcy cases in the US.

Munsch lived next door to Washburn, the last victim to be identified, according to the local newspaper the Austin Statesman.

Washburn was an executive at Sammons Enterprises, one of the largest privately held companies in the US, before retiring several years ago.

The son of a Methodist minister, he had recently been on the board of a US aged care home where his father had worked.