‘We should’ve been killed’: Grandpa reveals the ‘miracle’ that saw him and his grandson survive when their plane fell from the sky after the cockpit filled with smoke
- A 74-year-old says it was ‘divine intervention’ that saved he and his grandson
- There planned crashed in remote Victorian Bushland when their engine failed
- The light aircraft was saved from hitting the ground by a large gum nut tree
A grandfather has opened up about the horrifying moment he and his grandson almost died when their plane went into engine failure over Victorian Bushland.
Ken Bathurst, 74, and pilot Andrew Ottrey, 17, were on a scenic flight over the Gippsland Valley last Saturday when disaster struck.
Coolant began streaming out of the Zennith Zodiac plane and the pair knew a complete engine failure was imminent.
The pair were miraculously saved by several large gum trees which stopped the light aircraft from crashing into the ground.
Ken Bathurst (pictured) has opened up about the horrifying moment he and his grandson almost died when their plane went into engine failure over Victorian Bushland
The Zennith Zodiac aircraft became stuck in gum nut trees and was lodged upside down
While speaking to the Herald Sun, Mr Bathurst detailed how the pair began desperately searching the rugged terrain below for a place to land, knowing they couldn’t make it back to Yarram Airfield.
‘Things started to get worse – the cockpit was filling up with smoke, we couldn’t see out,’ Mr Bathurst said.
‘The engine conked out and we hit the trees. It was terrible, very noisy, it all happened too quickly.’
Mr Bathurst said what happened next was a matter of ‘divine intervention’.
The aircraft was saved from hitting the ground by gum nut trees.
The downed aircraft is pictured dandling about 7 meters off the ground below
The aircraft was saved from hitting the ground by gum nut trees, Mr Bathurst said
Lodged seven meters off the ground and dangling upside down, Mr Bathurst said ‘we escaped a certain death, by rights we should’ve been killed, no doubts about it. I call it a miracle.’
A man who was the first person to arrive at the scene of the crash told the ABC he was ‘gobsmacked’ the two had survived.
Local resident Ryan Collins said he heard a loud ‘bang’ from kilometres away.
‘I was just out cutting a bit of wood, looked up and saw this plane with a bit of smoke coming out of it and slowly going down,’ he said.
Mr Collins then rushed to the scene in his ute to find the pair on the ground below the cabin.
Grandfather Ken Bathurst, 74, and his grandson, pilot Andrew Ottrey, 17, (pictured) were on a scenic flight over the Gippsland Valley last Saturday when there plane crashed
An aerial photograph shows the thick bushland area where the aircraft crashed
‘The old bloke was trying to find his glasses and I think the young kid was trying to find his phone,’ he said.
‘I said, you’ve just survived a plane crash, you don’t want to drop dead from having a plane fall on your head.’
Mr Bathurst suffered a broken rib as a result of the crash, while his grandson walked away with only minor cuts and bruises.
Despite the terrifying ordeal, the pair say they are both looking forward to flying together again.
The cockpit of Mr Bathurst and Mr Ottrey’s (pictured) light aircraft filled up with smoke before it went down
Mr Bathurst says it was ‘divine intervention’ that he and his grandson (pictured) were not killed