Pilot trapped under plane's wreckage for 8 hours

March 18, 2010 4:09:01 AM PDT
Authorities rescued an injured pilot who was trapped for about eight hours in the wreckage of an experimental plane that crashed on an Indian reservation south of Phoenix. Authorities say the pilot radioed the Glendale Airport around 9 a.m. Wednesday, saying the home-built Varieze (very-ease) was experiencing power failure and was going down about 25 miles southeast of Glendale.

Search crews looked for the plane throughout the day and finally found the wreckage about 5 p.m. on the west side of the Gila River Indian Community reservation.

Gila River Fire Department officials say rescue crews had to remove the underside of the single-engine plane to free the unidentified pilot, who remained conscious through the ordeal.

Authorities said he was in critical condition Wednesday night at a local hospital.