The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has confirmed the two people involved in Tuesday night’s plane crash at Orange Regional Airport were conducting a training flight.
The pair were seriously injured in a crash near the airport’s runway at about 7.10pm on Tuesday.
Emergency services were at the scene and the plane’s occupants, understood to be a man and a woman aged in their 40s, were airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital suffering serious burns, including damage to their airways, as well as fractures.
Acting Duty Operations Manager with NSW Ambulance Jason Speight said both victims were conscious when emergency services arrived on the scene, and that the female victim had suffered more serious injuries and was in a critical condition.
VIDEO: Acting Duty Operations Manager with NSW Ambulance Jason Speight speaking at Orange Regional Airport:
A spokeswoman for the ATSB confirmed the aircraft involved in the accident was a Cirrus SR22, which is a small, single-engine, four- or five-seater light aircraft.
In a statement, the ATSB said the “aircraft, with a trainee pilot and instructor on board, was conducting a training flight at the time of the collision”.
The cause of the crash is unknown, but there are reports the plane was circling the airport before it came into land and burst into flames.
VIDEO: The crash victims being airlifted out of Orange Regional Airport:
According to a post on the NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone Facebook page, “a light plane has come down … causing it to catch fire”.
Police from Central West Police District were on scene swiftly, and have notified investigators from PolAir, and have also notified the ATSB.
The incident will be investigated by NSW Police Force and the ATSB.
“A team of ATSB Transport Safety Investigators will travel to the accident location tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to commence the evidence collection phase of the investigation,” the ATSB statement said.
The ATSB will be investigating the collision with terrain of a single-engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, which occurred at Orange Airport, NSW on Tuesday evening.— ATSB (@atsbinfo) May 15, 2018
The aircraft was conducting a training flight at the time of the collision.
Read more: https://t.co/TNCfIKpfJSpic.twitter.com/ty696EtR7Q
“Once on site, investigators will examine the wreckage, gather any available recorded data and interview any witnesses, amongst other activities.
“The evidence collection phase will define the size and scope of the investigation and determine the expected timeframe for the completion of a final report.”
Other aircraft were taking off and landing as per usual after the crash, with a Rex passenger flight landing at the airport after 9pm on Tuesday, and other aircraft taking off from the main runway.