THE pilot of a light aircraft that crash landed and cartwheeled at a Sunshine Coast airport on Saturday had to be cut out of the wreckage and airlifted to Brisbane.
Acting Senior Sergeant Peter Revelle said four people from Brisbane were on a joy flight in the Sling Four plane when the pilot attempted to land at 11.45am.
Snr Sgt Revelle said the plane touched down in dirt parallel to the Caloundra Aerodrome runway before the right wing dug into the ground and launched the plane into a cartwheel ending it up on its roof.
“Apparently there was a bit of a cross wind and he was trying to deal with that which is why he was to the right of the runway and that’s where he’s come to grief,” he said.
The two rear passengers were able to free themselves from the wreckage. However, the pilot and front passenger were trapped.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Kent Mayne said the rescue operation was complicated by aviation gas leaking from the wreckage.
Crews had to put a layer of foam over the leaking fuel before they could remove the injured pilot.
He said the “tricky and delicate” operation to remove part of the aircraft from around the pilot took about an hour.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Kristy McAlister said the three passengers were taken to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Two had minor injuries while the male front passenger had significant lower limb injuries.
The pilot was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition.
“He had multi-trauma so he had head injuries, chest injuries and significant lower limb injuries,” she said.