A light aircraft coming to land at Caloundra airfield. Picture: Lachie Millard
A light aircraft coming to land at Caloundra airfield. Picture: Lachie Millard

Experienced pilot dies as light plane crashes in paddock

An experienced pilot has died experiencing difficulties with his light plane and crash landing into the back paddock of a property in the NSW Hunter Region.

Onlookers watched in horror this morning as the aircraft nosedived into the garden of the home in Denton Close in the Hunter town of Windella about 10.15am.

The scene of the light plane crash at Windella, west of Maitland. Picture: Peter Lorimer
The scene of the light plane crash at Windella, west of Maitland. Picture: Peter Lorimer

The woman whose paddock the plane landed in said the light aircraft hovered perilously over her home before crashing to the ground.

Other residents in rural Windella said they also saw the plane flying dangerously close to their properties before it nosedived out of sight and crashed.

Despite attempts to perform CPR at the scene the pilot, a man believed to be 44-year olds, could not be resuscitated.

"It was a silent little plane. It was flying above our house for a while and then moved on and just dropped out of sight," the woman, who asked only to be known only as Barbara, told The Daily Telegraph.

"My husband, who was working in the paddock at the time, heard this huge bang. He couldn't believe it.

"Neighbours performed CPR for quite some time on the pilot but he was already dead."

The pilot, who has not yet been formally identified, was a member of the Royal Newcastle Aero Club and an experienced flyer.

He flew one of the club's aircraft early on Sunday morning before landing it at the club and taking up a recreation aircraft which belonged to another member.

Royal Newcastle Aero Club president John Tate confirmed the deceased pilot got into trouble at 2000 to 2500 feet in the air, with the aircraft trailing smoke.

Mr Tate said the pilot was forced to land short of the runway and crashed into the paddock.

Wind conditions were light and variable.

"He had flown this aircraft before, he was an experienced pilot," said John Tate.

"We want to extend our deepest condolences to the family."

Police from the Port Stephens-Hunter district are investigating at the scene of the crash.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has also been informed and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Originally published as Experienced pilot dies as light plane crashes in paddock


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