Pilot walks away from Agfest crash

Photo by Geoff Robson

Photo by Geoff Robson

THE Tasmanian Aero Club has pulled out of Agfest after a pilot narrowly escaped injury in a plane crash at Quercus Rural Youth Park at Carrick yesterday afternoon.

 Agfest workers looked on as the Cessna crashed into a nearby paddock just before 2pm, when the pilot misjudged his landing on wet grass.

 Emergency services rushed to the scene, however, the 32-year-old Launceston pilot had freed himself from the wreck without injury. There were no passengers on board.

The drawcard for us was to have two aeroplanes there, but having one in the car park on its roof isn't really a good look - Joe Miller

Tasmanian Aero Club member Joe Miller said the pilot was shaken but in good spirits following the crash, but the club had opted not to go ahead with this year's display.

 ``We've decided not to go to Agfest now,'' Mr Miller said.

 ``The drawcard for us was to have two aeroplanes there, but having one in the car park on its roof isn't really a good look.

 ``It's just one of those unfortunate things that happened. I haven't seen it, but I assume it was fairly wet and slippery,'' Mr Miller said.

The crash was the first at Agfest in the Aero Club's history.

Mr Miller also confirmed the pilot involved had a general aviation licence and was also a recreational aviation instructor in Launceston.

``He's been flying for quite a long time ... It's a matter of circumstance and I couldn't say it was pilot error because it could have just as easily happened to me,'' Mr Miller said.

Deloraine police said the pilot was lucky to escape.

``The intention was to land in a paddock, bring it through a gate and then put it on display,'' Sergeant Tony Roughan said.

``The pilot was coming in from the south, thought he had enough room, but he didn't . . . He's gone through the first fence, probably without too much damage, then gone through the second fence, at which point the plane has flipped.''

While police said they would not be investigating the incident, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is looking into the cause.

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