The plane crashed into a field in Franklin County. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Office)
The pilot was flown to the hospital with serious injuries. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Office)
FRANKLIN COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
A 79-year-old man was airlifted to a Tyler hospital on Thursday after his single-engine plane lost power and crashed south of Mt. Vernon shortly after takeoff.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Sylvia Jennings says Bobby Kenneth Terry, a Mt. Vernon resident, lost power in his plane around 7:50 on Thursday morning. The plane hit pine trees near Farm to Market 900 and Highway 37, going down nose-first and tearing off its wings before it crashed into an open field. Terry was the only person on board.
"You could hear it making a funny noise. Heard the motor quit. It was popping and then it quit and he turned, turned again, and ended up here," says crash witness Gene Keener.
Terry's engine had failed and he was looking for a clearing to set down in, but simply didn't have enough altitude to clear the trees. The impact sheared off one wing. The trees may have slowed Terry's descent.
Gene Keener and a fellow farm worker, seeing the plane go down, rushed to see if they could help.
"He was slumped down in the side of the plane asked him if he was alright , and he lifted his head up and said yes," Keener says.
They say Terry was bleeding badly when they got to him.
"We had paper towels, tried to stop the bleeding," says Kenner.
Within a few minutes, emergency crews arrived.
"Asking him what his name was, was anyone else with him, stuff like that to keep him awake," Keener says.
Terry was flown to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. He is in serious condition, but his injuries are non-life-threatening. His family tells us he is in ICU with a broken leg, broken wrist, and head injuries.
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said Terry was flying from Mt. Vernon to Winnsboro to have annual maintenance done on the plane, a 1969 Piper PA-28R fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft. The FAA is investigating the crash.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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