By JARROD POTTER
A SUNDAY flight around the bay almost ended in tragedy as four people luckily survived a light plane crash at Tooradin Airfield on Sunday.
At approximately 1pm the new model Cessna 182T, named ‘Skylane’, crashed on approach to land as the high winds buffeting the airfield are thought to have contributed to the crash.
The half-a-million dollar Cessna light aircraft twisted and folded in half as the plane struck three other planes, including a Piper Cherokee and Cessna 206, before coming to a halt.
The four survivors – a man in his 50s, a man in his 20s, a 31-year-old woman and a five-year-old girl were treated on the scene and taken to Frankston Hospital, but none are believed to have life threatening injuries.
An eye-witness Kylie Lawson, from Frankston, saw the crash unfold as she was waiting to watch her friend perform a skydive.
“Basically you heard it first and then when we turned around it was sort of cartwheeling over all the planes,” Lawson said. “It took a few planes out on the way and just ended up near us here.
Lawson believed the young girl was ejected from the plane, either in the crash or thrown for her life after the plane came to rest on the landing strip, but the girl was taken to hospital, miraculously with only abrasions and bruises.
“It was pretty windy as the plane was moving about – it was gusty – and it was cartwheeling onto the other two planes, damaged two there and one was completely smashed,“ Lawson said.
“Next thing there were people running and screaming and it was really surreal.
“They just wanted everyone to get away, we were told to back up this way, as they thought it was going to blow up so they just wanted everyone to get back.”
The loud bang was clearly audible to lunchtime diners at the nearby Wings and Fins restaurant.
One patron said he didn’t see the impact but certainly heard it.
“It’s a miracle that they survived,” the diner said.
“It was a really big sound and I could clearly hear it from the restaurant – it’s a miracle they survived and got out of it ok in the end. “
CFA crews from Tooradin and Kooweerup as well as police responded to the incident, as there were early fears the plane may explode on the tarmac.
Any worry about an explosion was quickly allayed as the wreckage was safely contained by the fire crews.
“It’s had a rough landing,” Victoria Police senior sergeant Werner said. “And it’s collided with a couple of parked planes as he’s landed and that’s the end result.
“No life threatening injuries at this stage, just light injuries, bruises and they’re all shaken up.”