Transcript for Pilot in deadly Australian plane crash issued distress call
Robin, new details on that plane crash that killed four American tourists in Australia. Their plane slammed into a shopping mall just seconds after takeoff. ABC's Linzie Janis here with what went wrong. Reporter: Among the tourists on board a prominent lawyer, ex-fbi agent and former CEO on a vacation of a lifetime and this morning we're learning the trouble on their small plane was so bad, they apparently didn't have a chance. Overnight, new information about that small charter plane and what caused it to slam into an Australian mall. Investigators confirming the pilot issued a distress call moments before impact. My understanding he didn't refer to the specific nature of the emergency. Only declared the mayday and said that word a number of times. Reporter: The aircraft suffering from catastrophic engine failure after being airborne for only 20 seconds. Receiving multiple calls and it appears that this may be a plane crash. Reports a sickle propeller plane. Reporter: The plane's last moments of flight are seen from this vehicle's dash cam and then -- Possible explosion and flames in the building also reported to be debris onto the freeway. There was just huge like it was the biggest flame I've ever seen and there was just black smoke everywhere. Reporter: Good samaritans rushing toward the fire hoping to rescue those on board. We got as close as we could and the fireball that was there, there's nothing we could do. Reporter: All five souls on the plane including the pilot dying in the fiery crash. The four American passengers on board had been heading out for an island golf trip. My heart is broken. He was -- that's how both and my sister feel. He was our big brother. He was just someone that you could always count on. Reporter: One of the Americans on board posted on Facebook just days before the crash expressing his nervousness on flying on those small planes. George. Okay, Linzie, thanks very much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.