A MAN and woman were injured when a small plane crashed in Sydney’s southwest today.
The plane — a four-seater Piper Cherokee — crash-landed in a paddock just off Macquarie Grove Road, near Kirkham, south of Camden, about 11.20am.
The aircraft, registered to the Phoenix Aero Club at Camden, suffered engine failure just after take-off.
A police helicopter conducting a training exercise in the area went to the assistance of the injured pair.
The crew rescued the 24-year-old male pilot and the 23-year-old female passenger, who were later taken to Liverpool Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
The man suffered injuries to his head and limbs, while the woman has escaped with an ankle injury.
Fire and Rescue NSW said a “foam blanket” was put over the plane after the incident.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed the plane was first registered in 1977, making it at least 40 years old.
“That’s not uncommon and there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily as long as they’re well maintained,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.
Phoenix Aero Club spokesman Ben Holloway said the 24-year-old pilot was a club member and licensed pilot who wanted to take his friend flying for the day.
“I did speak to him before flying and he just said he was taking a friend,” Mr Holloway said.
He said the plane’s engine was “brand new” and it had been in the sky all week.
“This is highly unusual, they’re a very reliable engine and this one is new ... The plane has been flown every day this week.
It is now up to the ATSB to determine whether an investigation into the crash is required.