Australia pilot dies as 'homemade' plane crashes into house

Image source, John Kovac
Image caption,
The single engine plane crashed into a corner of the house and destroyed part of its outer wall

A light aircraft has crashed into a home in the city of Melbourne, Australia, killing the pilot.

Witnesses said the plane, described by officials as "amateur built", had stalled and collided with the corner of a house, bursting into flames.

An elderly woman inside the house was unharmed but was treated for shock by paramedics.

Footage carried by Fairfax Media showed the plane had skidded down a lane, destroying the outer wall of the house.

The incident took place around 13:30 local time (03:30 BST) in the Chelsea area of Melbourne.

Herta Nebert, who was in her home when the plane hit it, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. that she heard a "tremendous roar", followed by a loud bang.

"I fell on my knees because the shockwaves came straight from the window and the glass was all over the place," she said.

"I think I'm a very lucky woman. I'm glad to be alive."

The crash is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB), which said the plane had been "amateur built" Van's RV-6A, a two-seater plane sold in kit form.

Image source, John Kovac
Image caption,
Several vehicles parked in the lane were damaged as the plane skidded past

Witness John Kovac tweeted pictures of the scene, saying he had seen the plane go down.

"I was watching him, all of a sudden [it] went into a dive, I thought he was doing a stunt," he said in a tweet.

Another witness told The Age it had sounded "like a bomb going off".

Fire and rescue officials said the pilot "did a good job" of steering clear of homes.

"He's missed the power lines... and missed houses really, he's just collected a bit of the fence and pretty much guided his way down the laneway," said a spokesman from the Country Fire Authority.

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