Pilot suffers serious burns in aircraft crash in Hunter, New South Wales
A pilot, believed to be in his 40s, has suffered severe burns and multiple fractures after the aircraft he was flying crashed at Luskintyre near the Hunter Valley in New South Wales on Monday, 17 October 2022. FRNSW fire crews from Rutherford and Branxton-Greta Fire Stations were quickly on the scene, along with the Rural Fire Service, NSW Police and NSW Ambulance and covered the area with fire retardant foam. The man was found lying on the ground near the wreckage. NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived shortly after 14h00 along with a specialist medical team with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Jake Broughton-Rouse said the patient was already out of the aircraft when paramedics arrived. “The plane had burst into flames on impact, which caused severe burns to 80 percent of his body along with a number of other serious injuries” he said. Police believe the aircraft exploded in flames as it crashed into a field on approach to an airstrip in Luskintyre, near Maitland.
“He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter’s medical team for severe burns to his arms and legs. The patient was placed into an induced coma and transported to hospital via helicopter. This was an extremely complex and confronting scene for paramedics. Our crews worked closely with Fire and Rescue NSW, the Rural Fire Service, NSW Police and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter medical team to effectively care for this critically unwell patient.”
The man has been taken to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into the crash.
"The ATSB will deploy a team of transport safety investigators with experience in aircraft operations, maintenance and engineering from our Canberra office to the accident site on Tuesday, to begin the evidence collection phase of the investigation," ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said.
"Over coming days ATSB investigators will survey and map the accident site and collect any relevant components for further examination and analysis at the ATSB's technical facilities in Canberra. They will also obtain and review any recorded data, weather information, witness reports and aircraft maintenance records."
Sources: New South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 News