Traveller lands in town’s RV campground
Travellers visiting Port Hedland have spoken about their shock on seeing an ultralight aircraft make an unexpected landing at a campsite at the weekend.
Chinese visitor Feng Zhai is travelling around Australia with his family on a two-year trip and said when he was unable to find a designated landing spot on Saturday, he had to improvise.
His family is travelling by road while he takes an aerial route.
“I wanted to park my craft, but there was no safety area. I wanted to fly into the airport but they said I can’t for a half an hour,” he said.
“But my wife called me and told me about the campground — no toilet and no electricity — and I was worried about her so I wanted to have a look. I found an airstrip but they’re closed, so I fly around and around and see this area to land.”
Mr Zhai eventually touched down in the Port Hedland Turf Club RV overflow camping area on McGregor Street, to the bemusement of other visitors. Witnesses said he narrowly missed the collection of 25 caravans on-site.
Des Beale said he wondered what the outcome of the landing would be for Mr Zhai. “He bounced down, bounced again then ran into the rope over there,” Mr Beale said.
“I would say he wasn’t landing, he looked like he would have been crash-landing.”
Others reported the area where Mr Zhai landed had been in use during the morning.
Jean Beale said it was lucky the area was not as busy as lately.
“I tell you what, this morning that area was full of vans and the day before they were right down the middle,” she said.
No charges have been laid or arrests made.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Australian Maritime Safety Authority is investigating the matter.
He bounced down, bounced again then ran into the rope. Des Beale
A witness said Feng Zhai’s touchdown was more of a crash-landing.