Ultra-light plane crashes into home
An ultra-light plane crashes into a Melbourne home, killing the pilot and leaving a 5-year-old girl in critical condition. Nine News.PT0M32S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-37cnm 620 349 April 28, 2014
A father is dead and his five-year-old daughter is fighting for her life in hospital after the ultralight plane he was flying crashed into a house on the Mornington Peninsula.
Peter Doutch, a volunteer with the State Emergency Service's Frankston unit, was flying his ultralight plane in Tyabb about 5pm on Sunday before it clipped the roof of a house on Seaview Road.
The plane crashed only minutes after it had taken off from the nearby Tyabb Airport, a police spokeswoman confirmed.
The plane crash claimed the life of a man in his 40s. Photo: Penny Stephens
Several neighbours said they saw the ultralight plane, known as a trike, come in to land at the airport on Sunday, but it was far off course and appeared to be in trouble.
"It was spitting and coughing like it was running out of fuel," said Rob Boer, who witnessed the crash.
"It wasn’t lined up with the runway. It was a couple of hundred metres off the line they usually come in on, so we knew something was wrong straight away.’’
Peter Doutch. Photo: Facebook
The plane clipped the roof of Mr Boer's next-door neighbour’s house before it flipped and smashed into the side of the house.
Police and paramedics were called about 5.25pm as neighbours ran to help.
Mr Boer said his neighbour helped pulled a girl from the wreckage, but the pilot appeared to have died.
The girl’s helmet had been knocked off in the impact, he said.
‘‘She was just crying the whole time,’’ he said. ‘‘She didn’t look very good at all.’’
Paramedics treated the girl at the scene before she was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition, an Ambulance Victoria spokesman said.
Mr Doutch, 44, of Frankston, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said no one was inside the Tyabb house when the crash happened. Mr Boer said the homeowners had been saying good-bye to their children minutes before the crash.
Frankston SES controller Brian McMannis told radio station 3AW that Mr Doutch, who had served as a volunteer for 20 years, was a “great bloke”.
“Peter always put his hand up, and showed his dedication to being a volunteer in the SES and helping people,” Mr McMannis said.
“To be one of the officers of an SES unit requires a little more dedication than your average volunteer.”
The Peninsula Aero Club, which operates from Tyabb Airport, declined to comment on the crash.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has been notified and police are preparing a report for the coroner.
Recreational Aviation Australia president Michael Mock said the cause of the crash was still unknown, but that the organisation was investigating.