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Pilot in hospital after emergency crash landing

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A pilot is recovering in hospital with serious head injuries after he was forced to make an emergency crash landing in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.


The Cessna had taken off from Ballarat in Victoria, stopped to refuel in Mudgee in the Central West of New South Wales, and was headed for the Hunter's Luskintyre airfield when a distress signal was sent out.


The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was notified the plane was 40 minutes overdue.


A major search began, and a member of the Rural Fire Service located the plane amongst trees in a field just north of Putty, near Singleton, at 7:00pm (AEDT).


Peter Cummings from the Hunter's rescue helicopter said the pilot was lucky to survive the crash, and was rushed to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital.


"The crew went out there and did a search and with the radio beacon, they honed into the beacon and located the plane," he said.


"A 62-year-old male had landed the plane quite heavily into a field.


"I believe it was a bit of a mess."


AMSA spokesman Mal Larson says the pilot had suffered severe head and chest injuries.


"So we're not sure what the cause of the crash was, we understand it may have run out of fuel, but we can't confirm that.


"The pilot was found, he's in hospital he's severely injured but through good fortune, he now is in hospital."



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