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Forced Landing - Wattleup W.A.

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Spectacular forced landing in Perth suburb Wattleup


Article from: PerthNow


  • Nick Taylor, police reporter


August 27, 2008 02:30pm


A PLANE flew under power lines and narrowly missed homes before smashing a wing as it crashed in suburban Perth with two people on board, a witness says.


A man said tonight he watched the light aircraft crash outside his home in the southern suburb of Wattleup, after its single engine died as it departed nearby Jandakot airport. The plane's pilot and a passenger walked away from the spectacular crash about 4pm at the junction of Mortimer Road and Power Avenue.


Furniture maker Mark Wright said he saw the plane coming down outside his home as he left his workshop at the front of his property.


Mr Wright said there had been no noise from the plane, indicating engine failure, and the duo had had a narrow escape.


"How it got down is beyond me. There was a fair bit of skill involved,'' Mr Wright said.


"I was standing out the front of my house and the plane came under the power lines.


"It missed a big tree, skidded in front of my house for about 50 metres and hit a couple of grass trees that ripped the wing off.


"Hitting the grass trees stopped it and I sprinted off down the street. By the time I got there the pilot and passenger had jumped out.


"There was a fair bit of fuel spilling out so we cleared the area.''


Mr Wright said the engine spluttered as the plane hit the ground.


"It sounded like the pilot was trying to start it again,'' he said.


"How he missed the big tree was amazing.''


The 20-year-old pilot was reported tonight saying he had gained only about 1000ft of altitude when the plane's engine stopped.


"You can be in the air, you can worry, you can stress, but that's not going to help the situation," he told Seven News.


He opted to land the plane on a nearby road, avoiding houses when bringing it down to save himself and his passenger, reportedly a student pilot.


An ambulance officer said that after a bumpy landing the two on board had walked away unhurt.


A wing had been ripped off the plane when it hit a tree, the officer said.


Police said the incident just after 4pm was a forced landing.


Fuel had spilled onto the road and firefighters, ambulance officers and police were at the scene.


Wattleup is about 5km from Jandakot Airport, one of Australia's biggest training airports.



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Guest basscheffers

That's interesting: he made it to 1000 ft. Wouldn't that have put him in a position where he could have done a 180 and turn back to the field?


Unless of course he climbed to 1000 and leveled out, flying away from the airfield, but that not how I read his statement.


It'll be interesting to hear why he chose not to attempt a turn back.



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Traffic-wise, making a 180 at Jandakot is akin to turning to face the hordes of Genghis Khan !


The track they were on is the 'out' route via Yangebup Lake to Lake Thompson and then south thru the JT training area. The best forced landing areas are the Kwinana Freeway, a couple golf courses, or one of the lake banks. They were just under 1nm south of Lake Thompson, and nearly 2.5nm west of the Kwinana Fwy.....so out of gliding range to anything open, especially in an Arrow! Another 1nm and they'd have had an option of internal roadways at the Alcoa tailing ponds. All in all ....bad luck to have it right there, but at least their good judgement got it down successfully.


happy days,



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Its interesting that the motor coughed just before touchdown.. perhaps some carby ice? or a fuel blockage of some description that blew out just before he touched down.. once again, we can all learn something from this misshap... if your engine quits, pull the throttle back to idle incase it decides to wake up just as your flaring into a paddock and fast running out of room...


Hats deffinatly off to the pilot, good job.. so glad it ended with only a bent aeroplane and some hedgtrimming..:thumb_up::thumb_up::thumb_up:



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