THE pictures of Denis Piazza’s light plane say it all — the nose bent almost 90 degrees, the door dangling precariously, crushed fibreglass exposing the cockpit to the elements.
No doubt about it, the 65-year-old Myrtleford man had a close call when his light plane crashed about 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
Yesterday, he told The Border Mail he knew he had been lucky to walk away with just a minor cut to his right leg.
“I didn’t feel any injuries or anything at the time,” he said.
“I probably just felt mad disappointment at what had happened.”
Mr Piazza, who has had his pilot’s licence for 45 years, said he was coming in to land his Jabiru 230 on the private airstrip at Whalley’s Lane, Myrtleford.
But he landed a bit short, hitting the incline where a flood mitigation channel had been dug and bounced off an irrigation spray pipe, which he said caused the real damage.
“I couldn’t go round, the left wing dropped and I spun 180 degrees,” he said.
“I didn’t have much time to think, so I didn’t panic or anything ... but I had no control from the bump.”
Mr Piazza walked to the nearest house 200 metres away, and he was taken to Northeast Health Wangaratta for observation.
Myrtleford SES and CFA crews and Ambulance Victoria were called to the scene.
Mr Piazza hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the airfields —though his family might disagree.
“They reckon they won’t let me buy another plane but I don’t know, we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“It certainly won’t be a fast plane like this one.”
Mr Piazza is completing his own reports for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, after which he said he would get on to seeing if he could salvage anything.
“A couple of mates have rung up and said it’s amazing what they can do with fibreglass,” he said.