Pilot dies in crop duster plane crash near Toowoomba
Sep 19 2022: A pilot has died in a light aircraft crash north-west of Toowoomba.
The pilot, the sole occupant, died at the crash site on private property off Chinchilla Wondai Road at Canaga, near Chinchilla in the Western Downs, about 12.20pm on Monday.
Police said the pilot, a man aged in his 30s, was behind the controls of his crop duster aircraft when it lost altitude and crash-landed in a paddock.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified and will investigate the incident with the police service’s Forensic Crash Unit.
It comes after a pilot was killed in a plane crash in Ayr in the state’s north on Sunday, September 11.
The pilot, a 67-year-old Townsville man who was the only occupant of the aircraft, was found dead at the scene.
Last month, an experienced pilot, a millionaire businessman and his son died in an aircraft crash in the Fernvale area near Lake Wivenhoe in the Somerset Region, 40 kilometres west of Brisbane.
Bird carcass found in Qld plane’s cockpit (Shep News Dec 16 2022)
The carcass of a large bird that can weigh as much as eight kilos was found in the cockpit of a crop duster involved in a fatal crash in rural Queensland.
A pilot was killed and his aircraft destroyed when it crashed into the ground at a property near Chinchilla, west of Brisbane, on September 19.
The aircraft hit the ground with the fuselage “in a near vertical attitude” and its “propeller and engine buried in the soft earth”, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s Stuart Godley said.
“A large bird carcass was found in the cockpit and the bird’s wings were located about 300 metres north of the wreckage, in-line with the aircraft’s track.”
The engine appeared to be delivering power at the time of impact, a preliminary report says.
Examination have shown the bird was an Australian bustard or Plains turkey, which weighs up to eight kilograms and can be as tall as 1.2 metres.
They are mostly ground dwellers, but are capable of flight.
Farmers began their search for the plane at about midday after concerns were raised when the pilot failed to respond to a call about whether they needed more fuel.
One of the local farmers found the aircraft in a paddock where the pilot had been spraying pesticide shortly after.
The field where the accident occurred would generally be sprayed at a height of two metres above the ground, just above the weeds, the aircraft’s operator advised.
While birdstrikes causing fatal aircraft accidents are very rare, the ATSB is separately investigating an incident involving a wedge-tailed eagle carcass located near the accident site of a helicopter that experienced an “in-flight break-up” in NSW in July.
The ongoing investigation of the Chinchilla accident will include further examination of electronic components, operational documents and maintenance records.
A final report will be published at a later date.