Jul 27

Queensland plane crash pilot hailed a hero for saving all five passengers

One of six people who survived a light-plane crash in Queensland was pulled from the wreckage by her hair.

Aviation experts are hailing the pilot a hero, after he executed a near-perfect ditch into a dam and then managed to get all five of his passengers out safely.

Queensland Ambulance spokesman Gavin Cousins said the plane was barely visible when crews arrived at the scene near Proserpine on Sunday.

“All we could see was the end of the tail that was above the water,” he told ABC radio. “The lady that we treated and transported to hospital said she was pulled out by her hair.”

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots has praised the pilot for his skill in keeping the plane under control until the moment it touched the water.

“It sounds as though it was a very well-executed ditch,” president David Booth told the ABC.

He said the design of the Piper Cherokee 6 had probably given him more time to get his passengers out. “It has a low wing and as a result it’s probably going to float with the cabin above the water for some moments, allowing the passengers to exit.”

A 25-year-old woman remains in Proserpine hospital with fractured vertebrae.

Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are investigating the cause of the crash, which happened soon after the plane took off from a nearby airfield.

Jul 27

Pilot Dies After Small Plane Crashes, Bursts Into Flames in Riverside Neighborhood

A small plane crashed and burst into flames in a residential area of Riverside on Sunday, killing the pilot, a fire official said.

A screenshot from an Instagram video shows firefighters dousing flames with water after a small plane crashed in Riverside on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

A screenshot from an Instagram video shows firefighters dousing flames with water after a small plane crashed in Riverside on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

The air traffic control tower at Riverside Municipal Airport about 5 p.m. received a distress call from a single-engine B35 Cessna, according to Capt. Tim Odebralski of the Riverside Fire Department.

The pilot reported having engine trouble and requested an emergency landing at the airport. Shortly afterward, “the pilot stated that he didn’t think he was going to make it and that’s the last transmission,” Odebralski told KTLA.

The plane then crashed in the 4500 block of Adams Street, coming to a stop on a sidewalk and through a fence in the backyard of a single-story home, the Fire Department said. The location is across from the campus of Adams Elementary School and less than half a mile from the nearest runway at the airport.

“We were coming down the street and I heard my daughter yell at my husband and there was literally a fireball,” said witness Shanene Romero, who was in a vehicle with her family. Her husband then swerved to avoid falling debris, she said.

“It was intense heat and then we heard a terrific crash,” she added.

In an interview, Catherine Burke said her aging parents were inside their home when the plane slammed through the rear fence.

“While they were eating, they looked up and saw a lot of smoke and dirt in the air,” she said, “and then flames.”

The couple called 911, initially unaware of what exactly had happened. Meanwhile, according to Romero, neighbors used a garden hose and fire extinguisher in an attempt to knock down the blaze and help the pilot.

“Another gentleman,” she said, “was yelling in the plane and saying, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?”

Firefighters from the department’s airport station arrived at the scene and quickly extinguished the flames, Odebralski said.

The unidentified pilot, the plane’s only occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene, he said, adding that no one on the ground was injured.

The aircraft’s tail number was indecipherable in the wreckage. It was unclear where the plane had taken off from, but a Fire Department official said the flight had not originated from Riverside Municipal Airport.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were en route to the crash site.

“I’m sure with everyone else, I feel for the pilot and his family and what they’re having to go through,” Burke said.

More video:


Jul 27

2 dead in Kenosha County plane crash

Authorities say they tracked a cellphone to southeastern Wisconsin in their search for a small plane that was long overdue at the Experimental Aircraft Association convention.

The bodies of two men were discovered in a crashed plane in a field in Kenosha (ken-OH’-shah) County on Sunday. Authorities had picked up a signal from a cellphone in the wreckage.

Sheriff’s deputies and the Wisconsin Civil Air Patrol began searching for the small, homebuilt plane early Sunday after it was reported about 20 hours overdue to the air show in Oshkosh, about 125 miles to the north. The plane was found hours later.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says the victims are believed to be from Indiana or Kentucky. Beth says it appears the plane was in major distress and came down vertically.

Federal aviation officials are investigating.

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