The West

Safety experts are investigating after a charter plane carrying five people left a runway and hit trees and bushes in remote WA last month.

A Kimberley Aviation Cessna T210 was taking off from Cape Leveque for Broome on December 30 when the pilot aborted takeoff.

The plane was "substantially" damaged but no one was injured.

Ann Vollmer, a manager at luxury indigenous-owned wilderness camp Kooljaman, which runs the airstrip, said the passengers had flown up for a day trip.

"The guests were shaken but were looked after by staff while they waited for alternative transport," she said.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the crash and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority was informed.

Kimberley Aviation owner Sadie Prendergast said the plane ran into washouts (potholes) and deep sand on the airstrip.

But Kooljaman advisers said the strip was in good condition without either hazard.

"As part of our ongoing safety program, the airstrip is inspected daily," a statement said. "When reviewed that morning and after the incident, there were no washouts or deep sand on the strip." The airstrip was closed as a precaution because the damaged plane was "impacting slightly on the safety area that runs along the edge of the strip".

Ms Prendergast said the plane was taking off when a wheel got caught in one of the washouts and went into deep sand.

"The pilot took-off the power and stopped the take-off but, off course, he was still moving and clipped trees and bushes, damaged the wing and then the propeller hit the ground," she said.

"The damage looks worse than it is because of the way metal bends."

She said the passengers were "really happy" with the pilot. "All of them were fine and were absolutely rapt with the way the pilot handled the situation and kept control of the aircraft," Ms Prendergast said.

She said the airstrip was closed immediately. "Cape Leveque (Kooljaman) repaired the airstrip, graded it and filled in the washouts straight away," she said.

"We have been going in twice a day since and everything is fine."

Ms Prendergast said Broome-based Kimberley Aviation had an impeccable safety record during its four years of operation.

CASA plans to review the ATSB report before taking any action.

The West Australian

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