‘Lawson Airport’ is officially shut.
The parachuting plane that put ‘Lawson Airport’ on the map was partially dismantled, winched onto a crane and trucked out of sleepy Sayers Street last Wednesday.
Over two days, an aviation salvage crew from Bankstown Airport — contractors working for Cirrus the plane’s manufacturer — spent two days removing electrical lines, the wings and other broken parts after the fuel tank had been drained (with the help of Fire Rescue NSW).
Brian Dakers from Mountain Cranes in Katoomba lifted the plane out of the front yard on Tuesday and then returned a day later to lift the fuselage onto a trailer to take back to the airport to fully dismantle.
The removal coincided with planned council roadworks on the eastern verge, close to where the plane landed. Another noisy day for Sayers Street, which had been visited by about 500 people since the plane went down three days earlier, a resident, Kylie Nash, said.
“It will be sad to see it go,” Mrs Nash, a neighbour to Sheila Riordan whose front lawn became the makeshift runway for the falling plane, said.
After getting into trouble, the aircraft deployed its parachute over Lawson on Saturday, May 10. The pilot, Peter Edwards, 62, and his two passengers escaped unscathed, making an almost “perfect landing” in her garden, said Mrs Riordan.
A quiet hero in the street, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was the first on the “frightening” scene and pulled the occupants to safety, she said.
Mrs Riordan’s fence and nearby powerlines were damaged during the crash landing and the power shut off. It was finally turned back on five days later.
In a letter to the editor, Mrs Riordan thanked neighbours who had taken care of her, and the pilot for his “remarkable skill”.
“I don’t suppose he will ever read the Gazette, being an out-of-towner, but he did a wonderful job and I’m extremely grateful for having just a plane on my lawn (as opposed to bodies all round the neighbourhood),” she said.
Aviation authorities are investigating the crash.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau would look at “what went wrong” and then CASA would examine the report’s results. The report could take anything from six months to a year to complete.