EMERGENCY LANDING: The Ayres-Thrush 600 made an emergency landing along the Bunya Highway, 5km out of Dalby.
EMERGENCY LANDING: The Ayres-Thrush 600 made an emergency landing along the Bunya Highway, 5km out of Dalby. Contributed

Pilot tells of plane's crop crash landing

A DALBY pilot who walked away from a crash landing with little more than a few stitches will waste no time getting back in the cockpit.

Dave Boland, 78, had no time to think about his actions when, on instinct, he navigated his Ayres Thrush 600 aircraft into an emergency landing just minutes after take-off about 5am yesterday.

Mr Boland, an experienced pilot, had taken off from the Dalby Aerodrome to drop fertiliser on a Cecil Plains property when, less than two minutes in the air, the engine began losing power rapidly.

After dumping the load of fertiliser the plane was carrying and pulling the emergency power switch to no avail, Mr Boland realised he had to make a safe landing as soon as he could.

His next actions are what saved him and the aircraft from an air disaster.

The fixed-wing aircraft crash landed into trees on a property after the plane failed to maintain altitude on a fertiliser run at Dalby about 5am Friday.
The fixed-wing aircraft crash landed into trees on a property after the plane failed to maintain altitude on a fertiliser run at Dalby about 5am Friday. Nicole McDougall

With two roads and low hanging power lines on either side of him, the pilot landed his aircraft in a muddy paddock, colliding with some trees and coming to a stop.

The measures he took while landing the aircraft came as second nature to him.

"You don't have time to think, you've just got to act," Mr Boland said.

"It doesn't happen all that often but when it does you've got to do something about it."

Mr Boland's son Justin Boland saw the plane drop the fertiliser in the paddock, and heard the plane crash into the trees and make its landing.

Mr Boland called his son from the plane after it landed to let him know that he was okay.

"I sort of thought the worst," his son said.

"As soon as I heard his ringtone coming I thought he's as right as rain."

Mr Boland Jr drove down the Bunya Highway, battling the low light of an early morning start.

The pilot miraculously walked away with a graze or two on his leg and a few stitches in his finger.

But from today, it'll be business as usual for the pilot.

"If I had any work to do I'd be doing it now," Mr Boland said.

"That sort of thing, it's just one of the hazards you have to put up with. There's nothing much else you can do about it."