Plane Hits Ferris Wheel; No Injuries (Updated)
The 52-year-old Australian pilot has answered the obvious question. Paul Cox told rescuers he didn't see the Ferris wheel. "The next thing I knew, I was stopped inside the Ferris wheel," he said. "I had no idea for a few minutes and I was just hoping no one got hurt." There are likely to be some more probing inquiries from Australian authorities in coming days, chief among them why a Ferris wheel was allowed off the end of the grass strip at Old Bar, perhaps within about 50 yards of the threshold. Initial reports focused on the collision and the safe rescue of the plane's occupants and the five kids on the Ferris wheel, none of whom were hurt, but an AVweb reader has provided a different perspective on what might have happened. "The Ferris wheel was about 50 yards from the southern threshold of the runway," Jens Meinecke told AVweb. "The guy was doing a missed approach from the north and with the nose high on climb out did not see the wheel."
As might be expected, there was some luck involved in the safe outcome. The ride would normally have been packed with kids, but rain was threatening so there were only five occupants. The plane missed the occupied seats and got tangled in the bracing wires. The fire department used a crane to get everyone down.