After being forced to hold to the South of Mackay Airport due to the inclement weather - including rain storms - which was passing through the region, the Pilot of the SAAB suffered a 'medical episode', forcing the First Officer to make an emergency landing at Mackay Airport. The SAAB came to a stop on the main Runway, closing Mackay Airport for a period of time while the Pilot was evacuated from the aircraft and transported to hospital.
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) confirmed that a single patient, understood to be the pilot of a the SAAB, was transported to Mackay Base Hospital in a stable condition. It is believed that they were later flown to Brisbane by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
The First Officer was also reportedly later transported to hospital.
VH-KDK was later towed away from the active Runway at Mackay Airport and parked on its 'usual' spot on the main apron where it should remain parked for the weekend - as shown above in the photo taken later on Friday 23 February.
Meanwhile, it wasn't a good couple of days for Pel-Air with fellow SAAB 340A Freighter VH-EKT seemingly breaking down at Rockhampton Airport after arriving from Brisbane early on Thursday 22 February as PFY7416.
As these photos below show, local engineers are working on one of the SAAB's engines and it remains parked on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron.
UPDATE! On Saturday 24 February, VH-EKT finally departed Rockhampton Airport, re-positioning to Brisbane as PFY9881.
Our thoughts are with those involved with the emergency at Mackay Airport this morning.
Photos taken by 'JM' and Trevor Hardsman ©