Crash land scare

EXCLUSIVE 

A FLIGHT instructor and his learner pilot have walked away uninjured after their single-engine aircraft crash landed at the Swan Hill Aerodrome on Saturday. 

A $135,000 2008 series Tecnam was coming into land at the Back Boga Road aerodrome when a sudden downdraught pulled the high-wing two-seat aircraft onto the ground about 11.30am. 

Mid Murray Flying Club secretary Neil Mesley said the heavy landing caused the right-hand side of the undercarriage and wheels to collapse and "bellied out" on the runway. 

The aircraft was owned by the Swan Hill-based club for the past two years. 

"It looks as though the plane is a write-off because it has a fair bit of damage," Mr Mesley yesterday told The Guardian.

"Neither occupants were injured, which was our main concern.

"We are going to the insurers to find out the next stage."

Mr Mesley said the club was sad about losing the aircraft, describing it was the "pride and joy" of the fleet. 

"A freak accident is the best way to describe it and we just put it down to Mother Nature," he said.

"The instructor had more than 50 years of experience and he applied full power, but it just kept on going down."

No emergency services were called to the scene. 

"They just hopped out of the aircraft which laid to one side," Mr Mesley said.

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