Pilot survives crash landing in Hill County field
ITASCA – A 57-year-old man piloting a 2004 experimental two-seater plane from Colorado to Houston was forced to land in a plowed field near Johnson County Friday afternoon when his aircraft ran out of fuel.
The man, who was relatively unharmed, landed in a field along FM 67, near I35 W in Hill County near the Itasca Baseball Complex – a little over 30 miles southeast of Burleson.
“The pilot thought he had enough fuel to make it to the Hillsboro Airport, but obviously he did not,” Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. D. L. Wilson said. “He started coasting and gliding, and saw this plowed field over here and was going to land on it near the roadway. He lost a little altitude on his flight path and hit a power pole, which snapped off. Then he hit an Oncor power line. This turned him over at least once or twice, maybe numerous times, and he then landed, trapped inside the plane.”
The pilot, whose name was not immediately available, was the only person in the plane. He dialed 911 to get help, authorities said.
“When he called 911, he said he was trapped but could see the Interstate,” the DPS sergeant said. “It took (authorities) maybe 40 minutes to find him by pinging his cell phone.”
When firefighters arrived on scene, the plane was lifted up to free the pilot. A cursory examination revealed bumps and scrapes, but no major injuries.
“There was no fire because there was no fuel,” Wilson said. “That was a good thing, but the plane was torn up tremendously.”
The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. Friday. As of 3 p.m., Oncor, DPS officials and other workers were still securing the scene.
Both the Texas DPS and the FAA are investigating the crash, the sergeant said.
“We’re just waiting for the FAA to get here right now,” Wilson said Friday afternoon. “They will check it out and we will move the aircraft.”