Small plane crashes into backyard

Images from plane wreckage in northwest Harris County

January 30, 2011 2:59:43 AM PST
A pilot was shaken up after a crash landing Saturday. The aircraft went through a fence before bursting into flames. State troopers say Tracy Mahoney, 43, was the only person in plane when it went down around 8am near Weiser Air Park in northwest Harris County.

"It sounded like a train wreck," said nearby resident Jim Parkins.

Parkins quickly found out that loud bang was no train at all, but the sound of a single-engine plane crashing in his backyard, just a few feet from his family's home.

"The flames were hot enough. We didn't open the back door," he said. "It was on its prop standing straight up like that with the tail wings. The fins were caught on the wire."

With a fiery mess in front of him, miraculously Parkins found the pilot walking around near his house. Cy-Fair volunteer firefighter says he made a daring escape.

"He managed to kick open the door," said Mark Kimberly with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire officials says the College Station man was trying to land at a nearby airport but realized he was going too fast and when he attempted to take off and land again. Officials say his rear tire caught a fence and then took down an electrical pole and power lines.

"He said he was losing control so instead of taking houses out, he put it in a ditch," said Kimberly.

With his charred plane in pieces, this pilot limped away with an injured ankle and a single scratch on his face.

Parkins says knowing that and the fact is his wife and three daughters were just a few feet away, he says he grateful.

"We're really lucky and truly blessed to be here today," he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigation and it is working on removing the plane debris from the family's backyard.

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