Pilot hitchhikes to hospital after plane crash for ‘a couple of stitches’ – ABC Rural
A 78-year-old pilot from Dalby on Queensland’s Darling Downs has hitchhiked to hospital after escaping the wreckage of a light plane crash with only a “couple of stitches”.
With the plane’s engine failing, the experienced agricultural pilot was only 100 feet from the ground, with 30 seconds to find a place land.
He dumped his load of fertiliser over a Dalby Agriculture College paddock and, avoiding power lines, ploughed into a line of trees.
He said he had been aiming for the open paddock, but did not make it.
The man, who did not wish to be identified, said he had been flying for 60 years and while he had make previous emergency landings, he had never made them with the same level of urgency.
With water from recent heavy rain still on the ground, the pilot has it had been “a fair hike” across the 500 metres of sticky black soil where he landed to the road.
He was met on the Bunya Highway by a colleague who saw the plane descend from the nearby aerodrome.
The man said he received “a couple of stitches” to one of his fingers at the hospital.
“He’s obviously a pilot with a lot of experience,” Dalby police Sergeant Tony Logue said.
“He’s very lucky — he just had a little graze on his knee and a graze on his arm.”
Police are working with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Workplace Health and Safety to investigate the crash.