The SIAI-Marchetti S.211 jet trainer aircraft force landed in a paddock after a loss of engine power.
During rollout, the tail of the aircraft hit irrigation pipes causing partial separation of the rudder.
An ex-fighter jet pilot and his French counterpart have had a miraculously escaped death
The pair was making their final approach into Goolwa Airport after aerobatics training when the Aermacchi S-211 turbo-fan powered military trainer suddenly lost power just after midday.
An ex fighter pilot has told 7NEWS of the harrowing moment his jet suddenly lost power during a joy flight over the south coast. He was forced to crash land in a paddock where he and his passenger emerged from the wreck unscathed. @MadeleineDunne #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/KIcrp1v6Mc
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) April 13, 2019
Pilot Jim Whalley said he started looking for a paddock when the throttle stopped responding.
“It was like: ‘We’re not going to make it back to the airfield’, so start looking out for a paddock to land,” he told the Sunday Mail.
“And fortunately I found a nice big green one. (We) touched down and everyone is okay. A little bit of minor damage and a lot of mud on my aeroplane.”
With 28 years’ experience in the Royal Australian Air Force, Mr. Whalley said there was no time for panic when the engine cut out.
“I think the heart palpitations will probably come over a glass of scotch tonight,” he said.
Although safely on the ground, Mr Whalley still had to steer the aircraft underneath a low-hanging sprinkler system.
“As I’m ploughing through the paddock it was like go in between the pipes, which we managed to do,” he said.
“(But) it’s taken a couple of inches off the tail… Not an ideal outcome but given an engine failure I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out.”
Mr Whalley is South Australia’s chief entrepreneur and the co-founder of defence industry company Nova Systems.