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article imagePlane slams into Ferris wheel in Australia

By Kathleen Blanchard     Oct 2, 2011 in World
An ultra-light plane slammed into a Ferris wheel shortly after takeoff, in an incident that Australian officials say is “extremely out of the ordinary”.
The small festival was taking place in a rural area in Australia.
According to reports, no one was seriously injured. Two children, the pilot of the plane and his passenger were trapped for hours as a result of the collision.
The two children were on top of the Ferris wheel when the plane hit. The plane was lodged more than 30 feet above the ground.
The festival was being held in the town of Old Bar, Australia.
Online sources report it took 90 minutes to free the two children and adults.
The 52 year old pilot, Paul Cox, was flying a Cheetah S200. The plane hit the frame at the top of the ride.
Cox’s 32 year old son-in-law was a passenger in the plane.
The two children, who were trapped along with the pilot and passenger, were freed by rescuers who used a crane.
According to Brett Campbell, a paramedic at the scene, the children, a 9 year old boy and 13 year old girl, were “brave” and “well behaved”.
Campbell added, “And so were the two gentlemen in the plane. They were just the best patients we could ever hope for, and the best thing about it, no one really had any injuries."
Amber Arndell, one of the children rescued from the Ferris wheel, told the Associated Press, "When I turned around there was just this big plane right behind me; I was so scared.
Amber told, "I tried to stay still and told Jess to calm down, it was leaking fuel and I was thinking to myself, 'This is it, we're not going to make it.”
She said she thought the Ferris wheel might topple, or the plane might catch on fire.
Amber also joked that she didn’t think she would go on the Ferris wheel at the Taree Show.
Festival president Cozette Leonard said Mr. Cox clipped a tree before hitting the ride. "He hit a tree, wobbled, pulled out to sea and that's when he crashed into the Ferris wheel," she said.
The ultra-light plane had just taken off from a nearby air strip. Cox said, “The next thing I knew, I was stopped inside the Ferris wheel.”
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