Pilot walks away from crash landing
A PILOT walked away virtually unharmed from a light aircraft crash yesterday at the Gold Coast Airport.
The single-engine Cessna, with only the pilot on board, crashed on landing at the northern end of the airport about midday (DST).
It is believed the pilot is training at Air Gold Coast flying school and was attempting a cross-wind landing when he lost control.
Witnesses said the plane nosedived, causing it to cartwheel and damage its right wing.
A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said the man was not trapped in the plane.
“He was walking with injuries; a few cuts and bruises,” they said.
“He was treated on the scene and did not need to be transported to hospital.”
Gold Coast Airport closed its runway for about 30 minutes after the crash because some debris had to be cleared away, Queensland Airports spokesperson Elissa Keenan said.
“The plane was towed off the runway first, then the debris was removed and the aircraft has now been moved to a hangar,” Ms Keenan said.
“The incident was at the far northern end of the runway, so the passengers in the terminal probably didn’t even see it.”
There were some slight delays to services but by the afternoon the airport was back in full operation and all services were running to schedule.
Ms Keenan said the cause of the crash was being investigated.
“Something happened during the landing process,” she said.
“We aren’t sure if it happened as he touched down or as the pilot was coasting in.”
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said no charges have been laid in relation to the incident.
“The AFP is preparing a report on the accident,” a spokesperson said.
The crash was attended by the AFP, Coolangatta Police, Queensland Ambulance and the airport’s aviation firefighters.
Darren Rickertt, who is also an Air Gold Coast pilot, arrived at the scene just after the plane incident occurred.
“It looks like it’s come in too fast and the nose has gone in,” Mr Rickertt, of Burleigh, said.
“The propeller and wing have been damaged. It didn’t look too bad, but the internal damage will be massive.”
Mr Rickertt believed the flight may have been the pilot’s fourth solo flight.
“I’d say he’d be pretty shaken up.”