An ultra-light airplane flew into a Ferris wheel in Australia after it couldn’t gain enough altitude during take-off. How light is an “ultra-light” plane, you ask? Light enough to crash into a dinky festival Ferris wheel and not knock it over. Four people were trapped–two men in the plane and two children at the top of the Ferris wheel–but no serious injuries were reported. The pilot and his passenger were stuck in the aircraft as it dangled in the spokes of the giant festival ride for three hours while rescue workers sprayed the plane with foam to prevent a fire. The Sydney Morning Herald reports “investigators will examine why a Ferris wheel was installed next to an airstrip.” The incident happened tomorrow, you know, ’cause of the time difference.
Paul Cox, the pilot, told reporters, “I went nose up and straight into it. Next thing I know I was stuck inside the Ferris wheel.”
Carnival rides are often derided as hastily constructed deathtraps, but this event at the Old Bar Festival outside of Sydney is a victory for Carny construction methods. Ferris wheels are top-heavy in nature and for one to withstand the impact from an airplane is impressive, no matter how ultra-light the craft is.
Still, a great tragedy was averted due to the sheer chance that the two children were not seated at the location of impact. Below is a dramatic reconstruction of the rescue from Beverly Hills Cop 3:
Plane crashes into Ferris wheel [Sydney Morning Herald]
Plane hits Ferris wheel north of Sydney, trapping four [BBC]