A man who landed a burning plane at Hagley on Sunday morning has been identified as Launceston Police Inspector Darren Hopkins.
Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith said it appeared the plane caught fire while it was in the air.
Inspector Hopkins was then able to land it in a Hagley field about 11.20am, before escaping from the aircraft and finding a nearby water trough to attempt to treat himself.
Neighbours quickly arrived on the scene and emergency services were called.
Inspector Hopkins was transferred to the Royal Hobart Hospital on Sunday afternoon. He is in a critical but stable condition with burns to 25 to 30 per cent of his body.
Commander Smith said it was a difficult day when emergency services arrived on a scene to find one of their own.
“It is a tough day, it’s a tough day for our responders,” he said.
“I must say, when I was phoned, it certainly hits home.
“But we are just pleased that at this stage Darren does appear to be stable, and we are hopeful of a very speedy recovery.”
He said Inspector Hopkins was a well-respected member of the community.
“We have people with his family and we’re also providing regular updates to our members on Darren’s status,” he said.
“It’s great to see the support from our own police and community at this time.”
Commander Smith asked anyone who saw have seen the aircraft around Hagley or Whitemore areas about 11am on Sunday to call police on 131 444.
Police are undertaking an investigation in consultation with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Inspector Hopkins was an experienced recreational pilot who had flown extensively across Australia and the mainland.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.
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