Aviation

Ultralight plane deaths ‘extremely rare’: flight instructor

Recreational planes are still safe to operate despite the death of a 62-year-old Dawesville man yesterday morning, a WA flight instructor says.

South-West Microlight School senior flight instructor Paul Coffey said ultralight planes were not generally dangerous and accidents were not common.

“That is an extremely rare happening,” Mr Coffey said.

Police said the man had been working on a recreational ultralight plane at a Halls Head property when he died at 10.35am.

Initial reports that the plane was airborne and had crashed into the property were incorrect.

“I have been involved for more than 20 years and I have only ever heard of one other (incident) where someone has been killed,” Mr Coffey said.

“It sounds to me that while the engine was running, the propeller was running and he had a bit of an entanglement.

“If the propeller is spinning and you walk into it, your chances of survival are not good.

“Propellers spin at over 500 miles per hour. Walk into one of those and you’re dead.”

South-West Microlight School is a Bunbury-based pilot training centre.

It is believed the Dawesville man was a fully qualified pilot and had access to his own aircraft.

Anyone over the age of 15 can obtain an aviation licence, according to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Police said there was no criminality involved and officers would prepare a report for the coroner.

Police are yet to confirm the cause of death.

Categories: Aviation

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