California pilot and passenger walk away with no major injuries after plane crash in Southern Illinois

JACKSON COUNTY, IL – Two men were able to walk away from a plane crash in Southern Illinois on Sunday afternoon. The assistant airport manager at Southern Illinois Airport Patrick McDonald says the passenger did not have any injuries and the pilot said he had slight discomfort in his wrist. He says the pilot refused medical treatment.

McDonald says crashes like this are rare, but the two men got lucky. About 1:35 in the afternoon, the pilot was trying to land his small plane he just purchased.

McDonald says Southern Illinois was supposed to be a pit stop before the pilot brought his new plane home to San Diego.

“From what I understand, he came in to land and it flipped forward. Once he flipped forward and was on his turtle shell – so to speak – he wasn’t going anywhere,” McDonald said.

The pilot and one passenger are not being named and the pilot declined to comment.

McDonald says first responders were there in under five minutes.

“Minimal amount of damage to the plane. He got very fortunate that thing could have crumpled,” McDonald said. “In the realm of crashes, yeah it was pretty smooth.”

He says this model can hold from two to four people. The cause of the crash is unknown.

“I think aviation is a risky proposition. Folks are up there doing what they do and learning how to fly so they can become more safe, but obviously doing what they do as pilots can be kind of treacherous at times and accidents happen,” said McDonald.

A crane removed the plane from the tarmac a few hours after the crash, but it will remain in Jackson County until the Federal Aviation Administration investigators can make a visit.

McDonald says FAA should be making a visit in the next few days. They will have to interview the pilot as a part of the investigation.

McDonald says the plane is in not able to fly in the condition it is in.