Two men have had a lucky escape after their recreational aircraft was destroyed by fire shortly after making an emergency landing at Wagga Wagga Airport this afternoon.
Police from Riverina Police District have been told the two-seater Jabiru had just taken off about 2.10pm (Friday 19 April 2019), and were about 800 feet in the air when the pilot and passenger smelt smoke.
The pilot immediately returned to the airport and landed on the runway, where he and his passenger escaped before the aircraft became engulfed in flames.
The Jabiru has been destroyed and Wagga Wagga Airport is currently closed.
Police hope to have the debris removed from the runway as soon as possible.
The pilot, a 64-year-old local man, and his 69-year-old friend, from the ACT, have been treated for minor abrasions sustained during the landing and escape.
As the operation continues at the airport to clear debris, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident will be handed over to Recreational Aviation Australia.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.