Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hunt on for stray wheel

People are being asked to keep an eye open for a stray wheel which fell from a plane last week and forced it to make an emergency landing.

SOPHIE MALCOLM January 15, 2013 4:30am

The trainee pilot skids to a stop at Mangalore Airport on Monday last week.

People are being asked to keep their eyes peeled for a stray wheel as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues its investigation into an emergency plane landing.

A trainee pilot, 21, was forced to make the landing at Mangalore Airport on Monday last week when his plane lost one of its wheels shortly after take-off.

A spokeswoman for the bureau has confirmed an investigation has started.

She encouraged anyone who lived nearby and might have seen the wheel to contact the bureau.

She said while the investigation would look at several aspects, the bureau would appreciate any information about the missing wheel.

‘‘If you find it let us know,’’ she said.

On the day of the incident, Seymour police Acting Senior Sergeant Clayton Munro said one of the plane’s wheels fell off just after take-off about 9am.

‘‘Shortly after take-off, he realised that the right wheel ... had actually left the plane, so, effectively, he had no way of landing, ’’ Sen Sgt Munro said.

The trainee circled the airport for more than four hours in an effort to burn enough fuel to attempt the landing.

‘‘He had approximately five hours of fuel in the aircraft, so we had plenty of time to formulate a plan with the CFA, SES and Ambulance Victoria and shortly after 1.15(pm) he brought the aircraft safely down,’’ he said.

‘‘As far as a crash landing’s concerned, he probably did a textbook landing.’’

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