Over the weekend, vintage aircraft pilot Charlotte Zeederberg had a lucky escape when the 1942 Tiger Moth she was flying developed engine problems above Redhead Beach in New South Wales. Having departed Luskintyre airfield near Maitland, the antique tail-dragger started spluttering – Ms Zeedeerberg, with 12 years flying experience, began frantically searching for somewhere to set the Tiger Moth down, hoping to make it to Pelican airfield but was running out of altitude. It looked as though Blacksmiths Beach was her only option.
“I found a hard piece of sand, well the hardest I could find, and brought her down slowly,” Ms Zeederberg said. “I kept on looking out for people out on the beach [to] make sure I don’t crash into anybody….It was a fine landing, all good,” she said.
“To have an engine failure and walk away from it and be so close to the ocean, it’s just remarkable,” Mr Franklin said. “She managed to get it as close to the airport as she could, having to put it down on the beach she did it safely and without putting any lives at risk and no damage to the plane at all.”
Depositing a vintage tail-dragger on a sandy beach is no mean feat and we’re all delighted that Charlotte, an indubitably skillful pilot, walked away unscathed.