73-year-old Canterbury trainee pilot back in the air after crash

Alan Macdonald with the wrecked aircraft. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Alan Macdonald with the wrecked aircraft. Photo: Geoff Sloan
A 73-year-old would-be pilot has brushed off a potentially fatal training flight to return to the air over Canterbury.

Retiree Alan Macdonald has got airborne – in the passenger seat – since the light plane he was learning to fly in nose-dived into a farm paddock near Glentui, north-west of Rangiora on May 28.

“I’ve been up again to have a look around,” said Macdonald, who is recovering from a smashed wrist, cuts, bruises and whiplash.

“I still have a bit of physio from time to time but I’m coming right.”

Macdonald sought an aerial view of the family farm at Sheffield following floods and storm damage early last month and was pleased to report the property was unscathed.

“We also flew over High Peak Station into the Rakaia Gorge, that general area,” he said.

The plane crash at Glentui. Photo: Geoff sloan
The plane crash at Glentui. Photo: Geoff sloan
Rangiora-based Macdonald had no qualms about getting into the Italian-designed Tecnam aircraft, piloted by a friend.

“I felt good, I was happy enough. We obviously weren’t doing simulations, it was a scenic flight.”

Macdonald crashed when flying with the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club’s chief instructor Stewart Bufton, who also avoided serious injury.

They were practising engine failure protocols when the plane clipped power lines and nose-dived, at low speed into the paddock.

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is investigating the incident.

Alan Macdonald with the wrecked aircraft. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Alan Macdonald with the wrecked aircraft. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Macdonald, who considered learning to fly as a ‘bucket list’ item, is keen to resume taking flying lessons.

“You have to get back on the horse again. I am not going to let it (the crash) beat me,” he said.

“It is a lovely view up there. On a fine day, it is serene. You get a view of the countryside from another perspective.”

drivesouth-pow-generic-1_0.png

 

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter