Pilot released from hospital

The wife of an experienced pilot who survived a weekend plane crash south-east of Bunbury told of her relief yesterday, after a witness pulled the man from the wreckage.

Chris Shine was flying his 1942 Beechcraft Staggerwing antique plane when he had engine trouble in Dardanup about 1.45pm on Saturday.

He crash-landed in a paddock on Ferguson Road and suffered cuts to his head and a leg injury.

He was released from Bunbury Hospital last night.

Witnesses saw his red biplane flying low with smoke billowing from it before the crash.

Mr Shine's wife Lorri said she was relieved her husband had survived.

"You couldn't have asked for any better result," she said.

Ferguson resident Turk Ellis was the first at the scene and rescued Mr Shine, who was trapped in the plane.

Mr Ellis said he was driving home with his wife and a friend when he saw the plane flying low over him. "We just hightailed out of the car, raced to open the gate and ran down to the plane and pulled him out," he said. Mr Ellis said he had to repeatedly "bash" the jammed door of the plane to force it open.

He said there was fuel leaking from the plane and he thought it was going to catch fire.

Mr Shine, who was covered in blood, told him he had done everything he could to get the engine to respond.

"He was lucky he wasn't killed," Mr Ellis said. "He did everything right to land the plane in the right spot but unfortunately he hit the fence line and the plane veered into a log."

Mr Shine has previously described his plane as his "pride and joy". The rare plane is one of only hundreds ever made and one of the few flying in Australia.

In 2011, the plane was judged the best antique plane at the 90th anniversary Royal Australian Air Force Air Pilgrimage.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said they would investigate the crash and would interview Mr Shire.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West