Of­fi­cer lands burn­ing plane

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A SE­NIOR Tas­ma­nian po­lice of­fi­cer is lucky to be alive af­ter suf­fer­ing se­vere burns while try­ing to land a plane as a fire roared in­side.

Recre­ational pi­lot In­spec­tor Dar­ren Hop­kins, 51, was be­hind the con­trols of the plane when a fire started, his col­league Com­man­der Brett Smith said yes­ter­day.

Insp Hop­kins landed the plane in a field be­fore neigh­bours came to his aid and emer­gency ser­vices put out the fire. “We be­lieve at a cer­tain stage there was a fire in­side the air­craft and Dar­ren was able to land the plan and exit,” Cmdr Smith said.

“It could have very well been much worse. Dar­ren is, from what we can see, he is very, very lucky to be alive.”

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