Two men lucky to be alive after burning plane crashes at Wagga Airport

CRASH LANDING: The two-seater plane caught fire mid-air before crash landing at Wagga Airport. Picture: Supplied

CRASH LANDING: The two-seater plane caught fire mid-air before crash landing at Wagga Airport. Picture: Supplied

Two men were lucky to escape with their lives after their plane began to catch fire mid-air before making an emergency landing at Wagga Airport on Friday afternoon.

At about 2.05pm emergency services rushed to the airport after reports a plane had burst into flames on the runway.

The two occupants, a 64-year-old male pilot from Wagga and a 69-year-old male passenger from the ACT, were able to free themselves from the plane after landing.

They sustained minor injuries including cuts and abrasions in their scramble to get out of the plane, but they did not suffer burns.

They were treated at the scene and it was understood they would not be transported to hospital.

Two NSW Ambulance crews, NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW attended the scene.

Riverina District Police Inspector Peter McLay said the plane crash had the potential to be a lot more serious.

"Shortly after 2pm a two-seater Jabiru aircraft took off from Wagga airport," he said.

"Shortly after take-off the pilot could smell something from the engine so he banked to the left and turned the plane around and was fortunate enough to land safely at Wagga airport.

"The two male occupants had a lucky escape before the plane went up in flames."

A Jabiru four-seater ultralight aircraft similar to the two-seater model that caught fire mid-flight over Wagga Airport on Friday.

A Jabiru four-seater ultralight aircraft similar to the two-seater model that caught fire mid-flight over Wagga Airport on Friday.

The Jabiru is a popular make of ultralight aircraft manufactured in Queensland.

Inspector McLay said the plane's occupants, a 64-year-old male pilot from Wagga and a 69-year-old male passenger from the ACT, were treated for abrasions due to their "hasty exit from the plane".

"Fortunately, the two male occupants escaped with their lives and the fire was quickly put out," he said.

All commercial flights in and out of Wagga airport were halted while the incident scene was cleared.

Riverina District Police Inspector Peter McLay updates media about the plane crash at Wagga airport on Friday afternoon. Picture: Emma Horn

Riverina District Police Inspector Peter McLay updates media about the plane crash at Wagga airport on Friday afternoon. Picture: Emma Horn

Gary Hughes, a construction worker from the Gold Coast working in Wagga, said he was on his way to the airport when "we saw all the emergency services".

"They just said our flight is delayed due to an incident," Mr Hughes said.

"Maybe we will get on our flight, maybe not.

"We might be looking at a night out in Sydney or in our rental in Wagga.

"The people in the plane were lucky. It could have been a lot worse."

Another witness said she saw black smoke coming out from the plane.

"It was landed already and then a ball of smoke," she said.

"They [the men] were already standing outside of the plane."

A NSW RFS spokesperson said it was a private, two-seater plane that caught fire mid-air before it crash landed.

Aviation firefighters were also at the scene helping the RFS contain the fire.

Inspector McLay said the investigation into the incident would now be handled by Recreational Aviation Australia, which is the governing body for ultralight aircraft.