Ralph Riegel and Conor Kane
A PILOT had a remarkable escape from serious injury after his light aircraft overturned and crashed on landing in Waterford.
The accident, shortly before lunch today, occurred at a field at Ballygarran on the approach to Waterford Airport.
The pilot involved is understood to be a trainee and was undertaking a routine practice circuit of east Waterford.
However, he apparently detected a problem with the aircraft shortly after take-off and was attempting to make an emergency landing.
He had lined the single engine light aircraft for a landing parallel to the airport.
It is suspected the aircraft clipped trees by the perimeter of a field and the pilot immediately lost control of the plane.
It struck the ground and catapulted over on to its back.
Incredibly, the pilot suffered only minor injuries and was able to exit the wrecked aircraft unaided.
He was treated at the scene for minor injuries and shock.
Waterford sources indicated that the pilot will not require to be detained overnight in hospital.
An investigation, as is routine, is now underway into the accident by both the Gardaí, the Health and Safety Authority and the Department of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU).
Locals who contacted WLRFM indicated that it appeared the aircraft had some kind of engine difficulty in the seconds before it struck the ground.
One person said, judging from the sound of the engine, that the aircraft appeared to be losing power in the seconds before the crash.