A pilot is in a serious condition in hospital after his six-seater light plane crashed near a luxury golf course in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.
Police and emergency services were called to the incident about a kilometre from the Capital Golf Club in Heatherton just after midday on Tuesday.
A Victoria Police spokesperson said the light plane crashed into trees shortly after take-off from Moorabbin airport, which is next door to the golf course.
The ABC reported the plane crashed into vacant land near Old Dandenong Road.
Eyewitness Abel Teke told the ABC he was driving a truck out of a nearby quarry when he looked up through his windshield and saw the plane was flying too low.
He said he had never witnessed a plane crash before and it was “a bit of a traumatic thing to see”.
“Then, next minute, it clipped a tree and nose first, straight into the ground there,” he said
Mr Teke and his workmates called emergency services and rushed to the scene to help the pilot.
“I was worried a little bit because there was smoke coming out, but we got the fire extinguisher,” he said.
A Fire Rescue Victoria spokesman confirmed the plane had been leaking fuel. Fire-retardant foam was used to hose down the aircraft.
“It is also standard operating procedure of the fire services to protect against any flammable liquid which may have been spilled,” he said.
The exact cause of the crash has not been determined, with police and emergency services remaining on site.
The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was taken to The Alfred hospital with serious injuries.
It is not the first time a light plane from the adjacent airport has crash-landed onto the golf course.
In 2019, a light plane carrying one passenger crashed into trees.