Small plane gets away from pilot

February 18, 2009 12:45:28 PM PST
An upstate New York pilot is unhurt after the small airplane he was warming up taxied out of control and crashed into an apple tree. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Authorities say John Sackett Jr. had just spun the propeller to start the two-seater and was revving the engine from outside the cockpit. That's when the plane jumped a piece of wood blocking one of its wheels.

They say the 80-year-old pilot chased the plane as it motored off the small airstrip on his Rochester-area property. It went into a neighbor's yard, through a berry patch and into a post and trellis before hitting the tree Tuesday afternoon.

Sackett is an experienced pilot who bought the 1945 vintage, single-engine Ercoupe in 2008. Nobody was hurt, and the plane had only minor wing damage when it was towed back to his property.

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