GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas pilot is in the hospital after crashing his experimental airplane.
It happened just after 7 o'clock Tuesday morning at the north end of the runway at Gladewater Municipal airport.
Gilmer airport manager Charlie Mouton says his friend Wayne Baker doesn't just look at piloting airplanes as a hobby.
"He's very thorough on everything that he does, and he carries it a little bit beyond what the average person does," explained Mouton.
Mouton says Baker has built airplanes before with good results, and expected the same this morning.
"When he came into my sight line, it looked like the airplane just banked hard to the left, and ran into the trees," says Baker.
Baker just got his final inspection on the new plane last week, and this was his first flight.
Mouton says his friend is alright because of his experience, "An off-airport landing, he was doing all of the things that he could to have a positive outcome."
Baker is in fair condition at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.
DPS says alcohol was not involved in the crash.