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Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Two Hurt In Australia Lake Amphib Downing

Wing Clips Water Tank During Forced Landing

Two persons were injured when a Lake Buccaneer amphibian crashed shortly after takeoff near Brisbane Monday.

The Australian Associated Press reports the single-engine aircraft experienced problems shortly after takeoff from Boonah Airport near Dugandan. The 51-year-old pilot was airlifted to a local hospital with head injuries, while the passenger was reported to be in serious but stable condition with head injuries and a broken arm.

A spokeswoman with medical transport service CareFlight said the airplane crashed during a suspected forced landing. "The passenger is not a pilot himself ... but he said they'd just taken off and were bringing the wheels up and they started to feel the plane dip and they came down just near the airfield," she told AAP.

The Lake's wing impacted a cement water tank, cartwheeling the aircraft before it hit the ground in a nose-down attitude. Both persons onboard were able to extract themselves from the wreckage before emergency crews arrived.

"As a pilot, my opinion would have to be that something's malfunctioned and he's had to put it down in that clear paddock area because he couldn't reach the airfield," said Greg Neale, a flight instructor at Boonah. "They haven't got a good glide ratio, those aircraft."

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was notified of the crash, but likely won't send investigators to the accident site.

FMI: www.atsb.gov.au/

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