A PILOT and his passenger miraculously escaped serious injury yesterday when their vintage De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Goulburn Airport.
The single-engine plane, believed to be owned by the 50-year-old pilot from Mittagong, ploughed into a paddock just north of the Goulburn Airport at about 9.30am. Both he and the passenger, a 51-year-old Sydney man, were reported as being in a stable condition yesterday afternoon at Goulburn Base Hospital with minor injuries.
A witness said the plane appeared to experience engine trouble shortly after take-off. Police, ambulance paramedics and fire brigade officers were quickly on the scene. Both occupants of the plane were conscious when paramedics treated them.
The pilot suffered some facial lacerations and bruising. Precautions were taken in case there was any spinal trauma to the passenger before they were transported to Goulburn Base Hospital. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority was immediately notified of the crash.
Police said an investigation will be conducted into the accident that severely damaged the 60 year-old aircraft. Chipmunks were a popular post World War Two training aircraft used by the British, Belgian and Portuguese air forces.