Aircraft beacon crash warning

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham council is conducting additional inspections of aircraft warning beacons after one fell to the ground and almost hit a father in Point Cook last month.

Jason, who asked for his surname to be withheld, told Star Weekly he was almost killed when he saw a beacon fall when waiting to pick up his children from school near the Alamanda oval pavilion and sports ground, about 3pm on November 20.

“I was walking towards the oval when I heard a noise from the light tower closest to the pavilion,” Jason said.

“On looking up, I saw a large object falling.

“I quickly stepped out of the way.”

Jason said the object, a flashing red beacon which is installed at the top of towers to warn aircraft at night, smashed into the ground less than one metre away from him.

“I was lucky not to have been hit by the beacon, if so I would have been seriously injured/killed,” he said.

Jason said children and other parents nearby ran from the broken beacon and smashed glass.

“I would suggest that this light tower is inspected ASAP to make sure nothing else is loose and could fall,” he said.

Wyndham council’s acting director of city operations, Jenny McMahon, said the council had determined that the beacon fell “due to extremely high winds and was an unusual and rare occurrence”.

“It was the first incident of its kind that we can recall,” Ms McMahon said.

“These beacons are inspected annually, however, we are conducting an additional inspection of all beacons due to this unforeseen incident.

“This particular light was checked in February and the tower’s structure was checked in October. Both were determined to be safe.”