An elderly passenger who allegedly tried to cut a plane’s engine during a charter flight over central NSW will be interviewed by police when he is released from hospital.
Police are investigating the mid-air drama after the 23-year-old pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the single-engine plane in a paddock near Oberon on Monday afternoon.
The 82-year-old man reportedly chartered the flight from Bankstown Airport to Cowra, telling the charter company he needed to go and sign some documents, ABC reported on Tuesday.
The pilot told investigators that near Oberon, the elderly man tried to take control of the aircraft and shut down the engine, police say.
It’s reported the 82-year-old allegedly flicked a lever which controls the fuel supply to the engine, according to aviation sources.
The pilot wrestled with man in the cockpit and restrained him. He then sent out a distress call before making a successful emergency landing in the paddock.
The pilot’s efforts left the elderly man with head and facial injuries. Neither was injured during the landing, police said.
The elderly man was taken to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital while the pilot was taken to Oberon Hospital suffering from shock.
Police from Bathurst will travel to Sydney on Tuesday to get the elderly man’s version of events.