Mystery surrounds pilot in near-miss crash
FLORENCE KERR AND JENNA LYNCH
A Kihikihi man who crashed his plane into a paddock is lucky he didn't sustain further injuries, a Te Awamutu fire officer said.
The crash in Kihikihi on Tuesday evening is the second in 12 months to occur in the fire station's area.
Te Awamutu senior station officer Lex Soepnal, who attended the crash, said the middle-aged pilot had already been pulled from the wreckage when he arrived.
"Initial reports indicate that he took off from a paddock, a homemade airstrip, and the motor cut out," Mr Soepnal said.
The Waikato Times understands the plane was only in the air briefly before the crash. The pilot was categorised medically as a status two at the scene, which indicates his injuries may have been life-threatening.
Two fire engines attended the scene with St John Ambulance staff.
"It [the plane] looked pretty bad, it could have been worse.
"He's very lucky."
There is some mystery surrounding the pilot's identity.
Waikato Times contacted the Waikato District Health Board for an update on his condition, however communications staff did not know who he was.
Local aeroplane clubs in the Hamilton area did not know who the pilot was.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Mike Richards said he had little information on the crash, but understood that the authority would be investigating, though he would not know for sure until today.
Hamilton Aviation expert Ewan Wilson said he had seen pictures of the crash in the Waikato Times and it looked as though the aircraft was a "home-build", but he had not heard who the pilot was.
Other aircraft enthusiasts suggested the aircraft was a Druine Turbulent, a single-seater designed in the 1950s, and its engine is from a Volkswagen Beetle car. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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