Red Bull pilot praises rescuers
Red Bull pilot praises rescuers

Brazilian pilot Adilson Kindlemann has been released from hospital just 24 hours after crashing his plane into the Swan River but is unlikely to race this weekend.

Kindlemann told waiting media that he was feeling great as he left Royal Perth Hospital with several Red Bull Air Race staff and was ushered into a waiting vehicle.

The 36-year-old said he did not know when he would be back racing.

He hoped it would be "as soon as possible" but conceded he would probably not race this weekend.

The Brazilian suffered minor whiplash in the crash and had no visible signs of injury as he left the hospital today.

Last night, Kindlemann told reporters he felt fine and was looking forward to racing.

"Let's go," he said. "And this time I hope to be in the air and not in the water."

Gallery | Geoffrey Thomas: Red Bull not for faint hearted | Video: Adilson Kindlemann

In a statement released by organisers, the 36-year-old South American, a former airline pilot with 11,000 flight hours in his logbook and 1200 hours in acrobatics, said the "people who rescued me from the water were unbelievable" and water rescue training on Monday had prepared him for the incident.

Brazilian pilot Adilson Kindlemann leaves hospital. Pic: Guy Magowan

Scroll down to see the crash in pictures

He said he was not sure what had caused the crash and would have to look at video of the moments leading up to the accident.

Witnesses told The West Australian they felt sick as Kindlemann's plane smashed into the river about 11.50am. The plane went down tail-first and and quickly flipped, submerging the cockpit.

Red Bull Air Race chief executive Bernd Loidl said emergency teams on boats and jet skis who raced to rescue the stricken pilot freed him within a minute.

He was reportedly conscious as he was rushed to the Perth foreshore, where he was taken by ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital.

Aircraft engineer Brenden Scott, who saw the crash, said a strong gust of wind had hit the plane and stalled the left wing.

A wing stall occurs when the airflow over the wing is disturbed and breaks up and no longer lifts theļ€„ aircraft.

"His left-hand wing stalled and the aircraft, as it's designed to do, dropped and recovered," Mr Scott said.

"Kindlemann applied power but he was too low and the aircraft nosed into the water."

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Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images
Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images

Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images
Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images

Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images
Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images

Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images
Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images

Picture: Getty

Even before the crash, pilots had been having difficulty with the course in the gusty conditions and race organisers had shut the Langley Park airstrip, with the planes flying from Jandakot.

The Weather Bureau said winds gusting to 17 knots were recorded at nearby Melville Water just before the crash.

Despite the high-speed smash, the cockpit remained intact.

The pilot's tight safety harness helped minimise his injuries.

Mr Loidl said safety was the organisers' number one priority.

He told the Red Bull Air Race website that it "is in the nature of any competitive sport like the Red Bull Air Race World Championship that you can never say it's 100 per cent safe".

"But the point is these are top pilots competing who qualified over a number of years," he said.

He said there had also been extensive planning and safety testing. "In regards to the emergency response, it was in place and perfectly recovered the pilot and the racing machinery."

Kindlemann had earlier described on his website the difficulties of flying in the rainy and windy conditions on Wednesday when the race was declared open. "But this type of training is essential for us to face different situations and to be prepared on the race day," he said.

City of Perth chief executive Frank Edwards said he was pleased the pilot was all right and it had been good to see the organisers' safety management plan had worked, with rescuers reaching the stricken plane in about 30 seconds.

He said all the acrobatic flying could be done only over an approved course, which was over the water.

"I feel confident that the safety of spectators is well catered for," he said.
Picture: Scott Leggo/BVR images
The moment of impact: Picture: Brenden Scott.

Picture: Colin White

Picture: Colin White

Picture: Colin White

Picture: Georgina Harvey

Adilson Kindlemann. Picture: Getty

File picture

The West Australian

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