Plane crash at Lakeside Airstrip
LAKESIDE Airstrip owner Garry Poole described it as a "miracle" that no-one was killed when a light aircraft crash-landed and skidded into a dam on his property just outside Bloomsbury, on Sunday afternoon.
With six passengers on board, the plane is thought to have encountered a down draft, which caused the pilot to lose control.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said five of the six passengers had no visible injuries and refused treatment.
However, a 25-year-old woman was taken to Proserpine Hospital with back pain, where she remains with fractured vertebrae.
Mr Poole, who lives on the airstrip, said he heard "a loud bang, and then a rev of the engine" from inside his home.
"I came out and I saw the plane on top of the water," he said.
"I was really worried that plane would sink quickly and those people would (drown)- it didn't look good at all."
Mr Poole said the airstrip then went into action, as the crash victims were pulled from the sinking wreckage.
"A couple of the locals had arrived and they were quickly trying to get people out of the plane," he said.
"I rang 000 several times and it was the best part of three-quarters of an hour to an hour before the ambulance got out here."
The pilot, despite the threat to his own life, also helped in the rescue.
"I saw the pilot dive into the plane several times," Mr Poole said.
"He went in there, he made sure all the people got out and, unfortunately, as soon as they opened the emergency exits to the plane, very quickly it sank."
Despite the threat of being trapped in a sinking plane, Mr Poole said the water could have in fact saved the passengers lives.
"(Skidding into the dam) would have taken the impact out of the aircraft crashing and that possibly saved their lives," he said.
It is thought the pilot, who stores his aircraft at Mr Poole's airstrip, had been taking friends on a flight over the reef to celebrate his birthday and was returning home when the crash occurred.
Mr Poole said he had never before experienced a down draft in the area where the plane crashed.
"But I won't say it's not there," he said.
"It's a gully and you do get down drafts through gullies."
Mr Poole said he expected the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to investigate the cause of the crash.