Saturday 17 December 2011

'Plane crash

We made a short trip out to eliminate some licence issues. It was a bright, cold winter's day with a lot of traffic on the roads (is there something going on?). We gathered the data to remap an area and headed home by a longer, quieter route that sticks to country roads. The light was still quite good, but in a field Jean saw an aeroplane that looked odd. I stopped the car and saw immediately the reason it looked odd was that it had crashed. It looked like a Piper. I called the police and while I did so another car pulled up. As it happened the driver was a paramedic. He went to the plane and contacted his control centre and was told they knew about it and no-one was hurt.

When I got home the police called to say the plane had crash-landed with engine failure and no one was hurt. Looking at the map the nearest airfield from the crash-site was less than three kilometres away at Mount Airey farm, maybe the pilot was trying to get there and didn't reach it. Having landed a plane there myself I know it is a small, tricky airfield with a sloping runway and a lot of trees around and it's not often manned, so not a great place to land with a problem.

The plane is probably a right-off. The starboard wing and engine look damaged. Looking up the registration it is a Piper PA 23 Apache and at least 35 years old, though planes that old are not uncommon in light aircraft.

Not quite an average mapping session.

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