Crashed plane believed to be from Yulgilbar Station
TWO pilots have walked away from a Lismore plane crash after their passenger jet overshot the runway and ploughed into the ground.
The Cessna Citation 550, believed to be registered to Yulgilbar Station, narrowly missed the Bruxner Hwy, coming to stop about 50m short. A pilot who witnessed the crash said he saw the aircraft taxi down the runway and fail to gain enough speed.
"I was standing at the hanger, at the threshold of the runway, and I saw the citation taxi out to the runway and then I saw him taxi down the runway to take off," Charles Mollison, a member of the Gympie Aero Club, said.
"About half way down the runway I could see he wasn't going fast enough to get off the ground and then he was out of my sight.
"The next thing I know there's an ambulance going down the runway."
Mr Mollison said the plane had been at the Lismore airport for a couple of days.
"He's very lucky, it could have been lots lots worse," he said. "Could have been complications if he'd come through the fence.
"The nose wheels have collapsed of course but the soft ground at the end of the runway would have helped stop the aeroplane before it got to the fence."
Another witness, Jess Jervis, said she was driving past the airport when she saw the plane crash.
"I was just driving past and I seen the aeroplane just a bit too close to the road and next minute it's just bouncing along the ground," she said.
"I thought it was just going to go straight out onto the road and end badly but it managed to stop in the paddock.
"It was pretty scary but luckily everyone's alright."
Leearne Noyes, who also witnessed the crash, said the plane just "ploughed and ploughed and ploughed."
"I could see this plane just coming and it was almost like, surreal, we didn't know where it would go, what would happen," she said. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) confirmed the crash was the result of the Cessna overrunning the airstrip.
A spokesperson said it appeared something went wrong during take-off.
He said both the pilot and co-pilot were unharmed, however there was damage to the nose gear in the aircraft. The Australian Safety Transport Bureau will continue gathering information to determine whether or not an investigation will go ahead.