Soft landing ends beach visit

THE light plane from Tyabb which had a longer-than-planned beach break at French Island.

A LIGHT plane which made an unscheduled landing on a beach at the eastern tip of French Island later had to be removed by barge.

The A22LS Foxbat with two people on board was on a sightseeing trip from Tyabb airfield when the pilot decided to land on a strip of sand where they had previously seen other planes land.

Despite doing a fly-past and seeing no impediment to landing, the sand was deeper and softer than expected and the plane sank deeper than would allow it to take off again.

No one was injured but some damage was caused to the propeller tips in the incident, 1.40pm, on Saturday 25 February.

The pilot radioed in to report the stranding and start arrangements for getting the plane back on dry land next day. It was then moved well clear of the high tide mark.

The A22LS Foxbat is regarded as a safe plane for what’s called “off-airport landings” often made by farmers and station owners.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was not investigating the incident.

First published in the Western Port News – 7 March 2017