Pilot praised for landing plane with suspected failed engine
UPDATE: Emergency service crews are praising the quick actions of an experienced pilot after catastrophe was averted right near Goodwood Rd this morning.
The Bundaberg couple were flying in the Jabiru plane when suspected engine failure caused the light aircraft to crash land.
The plane, believed to be en route to Newscastle in New South Wales, skimmed the tops of cane plants as it came to rest in a paddock of dried up peanut plants.
Some slight damage was suffered by one of the plane's wings, but the couple on board their plane, in their 60s, escaped injury.
It is believed the pair had been travelling around Australia in the plane.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Martin Kelly said with the plane coming down so close to the busy section of highway on Goodwood Rd, the pilot's actions were incredible.
"We've had a plane incident where a plane has landed rather heavily," he said.
"As luck would have it, one of our units was transferring a patient from Childers into Bundaberg along Goodwood Rd at the time and noted the plane flying low and slowed down to see what was happening - in fact saw the plane bank quite sharply and come back around and land quite heavily in the paddock.
"He's been able to then report straight to the paddock and check it out.
"He responded with the ambulance and parked beside the plane."
The plane landed "safely but quite heavily," Mr Kelly said.
"The people that were on board came out of the plane quite well and uninjured, the pilot managed to put the plane down quite safely and they're quite all right, quite luckily."
Mr Kelly said the pilot knew the spot existed and purposely landed in it.
"Had he not found somewhere nice and soft to put it down" the situation could have been much worse, he said.
"There's been no real damage to the plane itself, so it was basically just a heavy landing."
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Bundaberg station officer Ross Findlay also praised the pilot's actions.
"It could have been very, very serious - there's been a few plane crashes in the past that haven't ended up very nicely," he said.
"He's done extremely well, he must be a very good pilot to get it down safely as he has done.
"He's done a great job, it could have been much more severe.
"The gentleman has actually landed it very, very safely."
Police and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will carry out a routine investigation of the incident, however, it is suspected that engine failure was the cause of the crash landing.
EARLIER: A Sunday morning joyflight turned terrifying for a couple this morning after their light plane made a heavy landing in a cane field outside Bundaberg.
Emergency services responded after ambulance officers noticed the Jabiru struggling in the air above Elliott, 20 minutes south of the city.
Ambulance, firefighters and police came to the aid of the pair aged in their 60s.
They had reportedly been travelling around Australia and were bound for Newcastle when the emergency occurred.
Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Ross Findlay said engine failure was suspected and police will investigate the incident along with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.