Elderly man charged over mid-air drama

An elderly plane passenger has been arrested and charged over his alleged involvement in a mid-air drama in central NSW.

Les Nixon, 82, has been charged with prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft.

Mr Nixon was left with head injuries after a young pilot was forced to subdue him when he allegedly tried to grab the controls of a light plane mid-flight.

Pilot James Chandler, 23, has told police that Mr Nixon, a Christian missionary with decades of flying experience, started switching off fuel lines and pushing control buttons on Monday.

Mr Chandler made an emergency landing of the four-seater aircraft in a paddock at Oberon in the central tablelands.

On Wednesday afternoon as Mr Nixon was released from Sydney's Westmead Hospital, detectives spoke to him.

He was granted bail to appear in Parramatta Local Court on September 24.

Police have also been granted a warrant to examine Mr Nixon's Sydney home.

The arrest comes hours after Mr Nixon's family claimed he had no recollection of the moments leading up to the emergency landing.

"Possibly due to the injuries he sustained during the flight, Les currently has no memory of the events immediately preceding the forced landing," a statement issued through Australia's Outback Patrol read.

Mr Nixon had spent 50 years in the cockpit, including with the Christian outreach program Australia's Outback Patrol, which he set up with his wife Martha in 1961.

His family said the Sydney man "voluntarily retired from flying" recently.

He had chartered the twin-engined plane and pilot from Bankstown Airport on Monday to fly him to Cowra to visit family friends, according to the statement.

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