VIDEO: Pilot survives fiery plane crash into tree

EMBED </>More Videos

A security camera in Alabama captured the moment a plane plunged to the ground, hitting a tree. (WLS)

A security camera in Alabama captured the moment a plane plunged to the ground, hitting a tree.

It burst into flames on impact. Seconds later, the entire aircraft was on fire.

Several witnesses ran to the scene and were surprised to see the pilot was alive.

They pulled him to safety after he tumbled from the burning plane.

Incredibly, the pilot escaped with only a cut on his hand.

Federal investigators are now looking into what caused the crash.



According to Foley Municipal Airport manager Rachel Keith, the pilot's name is Russell Smith. He never went to the hospital.

According to the FAA, he was the only person aboard the aircraft, a Cessna.

Corey Kirkwood, a lineman at the airport who says he was the last person to touch the plane before the botched takeoff, tells ABC News the plane was a twin-engine Cessna 421. Smith "took an insane amount of time to take off," he said, barely clearing the fence and clipping the tree line past the end of the runway, where the plane burst into flames.

Smith later complained that the plane didn't have much power, Kirkwood said.

After the crash, Smith "busted out of the airplane," brushed off his injuries, and returned to the airport to pick up his car, Kirkwood tells ABC. The pilot later said he'd burned his hands on the hot door of the plane.

A salvage company will retrieve the remnants of the plane once the FAA is done investigating.

Related Topics:
plane crashu.s. & worldAlabama

Load Comments