Ditched - pilot injured as plane runs off M?bah strip
A MURWILLUMBAH pilot was recovering in hospital yesterday after his light aircraft came to a sudden and damaging stop in a cane drain.
The aircraft ran out of runway on the Murwillumbah airfield after the pilot reportedly aborted a take-off with a mechanical problem early yesterday morning. He was taken to Murwillumbah Hospital.
The accident was described as very unfortunate by president of the 50-strong Murwillumbah Aero Club, Carole Yeend, where the pilot was a member.
"It's a good place to fly around here because it is flat with canefields," she said. "But canefields need drains".
"If the ditch hadn't been there he would have been alright.
"Taking off is the most dangerous part of flying ... even more than landing."
The extensively damaged light aircraft was pulled from the drain yesterday afternoon.
The crash was one of two light aircraft accidents early on Sunday within an hour's flying time of Brisbane.
A cropduster pilot was injured when his plane hit powerlines at Laidley, be-tween Brisbane and Too-woomba, blacking out homes in the district for several hours.
Police said the 45-year-old pilot was spraying chemicals on crops near the Laidley showground when his plane hit the powerlines and crashed just before 6am Queensland time.
He was taken to the Laidley Hospital and later transferred to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital by helicopter with serious head and chest injuries.
Police said the man's injuries were reported to be not life threatening.