Inland Empire News
Pilot rescued from fiery plane crash in Redlands
REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- Good Samaritans helped rescue a pilot after his small plane crashed next to Redlands Municipal Airport on Monday morning.
Witnesses said they saw the plane performing acrobatic maneuvers overhead and then flying low just moments before it hit the ground.
"All of a sudden he came down, down, down. He was trying to pull up then you hear boom right in the street", said witness Tim Johnson, who was operating a forklift at the time.
Authorities say the small biplane crashed in the street just beyond the runway and to the left of the hangars just before 9 a.m.
Upon impact, the plane slid about 150 feet down the roadway, and in the process, clipped a parked car before coming to a stop and bursting into flames.
Workers at a nearby brewery helped pull the 45-year-old pilot Paul Sowell to safety moments before flames completely engulfed the plane.
"I would imagine that considering he hit the road that if he was low fuel or couldn't make it back to the airport he was trying to minimize everything - any potential damage," said Joe Savage, who along with a co-worker saved Sowell.
Savage and his co-worker then turned back around to help douse the flames.
"Ran over there, and the guys from the brewery ran over there and pulled him out," Johnson said. "We tried to put out the fire with extinguishers."
The pilot was hospitalized with a laceration to his head and back pain.
The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.
It's unclear if Sowell was practicing his maneuvers as part of next month's air show at the airport in Redlands.
san bernardino county, plane crash, inland empire news, leticia juarez
- Boy Scouts vote to accept openly gay boys
- Palmdale boy allegedly tortured; 2 in custody
- LA gang coordinated from Kansas house: arrest
- Jodi Arias sentencing: Judge declares mistrial
- Cold case: Cadaver dog fails to pick up scent
- Citibank in Tarzana robbed; suspects get away
- IE school, parents make push for crosswalk
- 5-acre brush fire burns near Castaic school
- Eric Garcetti meets with Mayor Villaraigosa
- I-5 bridge collapses in Wash.; people in water 13 min ago
- abcnews: NY man rescued after month of alleged torture
- London attack investigation: 2 more arrests
- SI model accepts local teen's prom proposal
- OTRC: Jennifer Aniston plays stripper in 'Millers'