Three men travelling on board a light aircraft that was forced to crash-land in Sydney have escaped relatively unharmed after deploying the plane's own inbuilt parachute.
The pilot activated the safety feature when the Cirrus aircraft began suffering engine trouble around 1,300 metres above ground, and it became apparent that the plane would have to make a crash-landing.
The parachute is a built-in safety feature controlled by a red handle in the cockpit, which gives the pilot the option to float down to the ground.
"It was very surreal watching this plane drifting down very slowly towards us," one witness said.
While the plane and the fence it crashed into was damaged, the pilot and two male passengers walked away - only one had minor injuries.
"They were very lucky young fellas," said one man at the scene. "They've got one of these specialised planes that's got a parachute that actually assists them to land the plane."