Light Plane Crash-Lands on Car in Texas Parking Lot

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
October 13, 2018US News

A light plane met with problems shortly after taking off from a small Texas airport and crash-landed on top of a pickup truck parked at a nearby office complex.

The plane, a Cirrus SR22, met with problems almost as soon as it left the runway at Midland Airpark Airport around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 12.

The light plane descended slowly under its parachute
Samantha Baeza videoed the SR22 light plane descending slowly under its parachute and onto a parked pickup truck. (Samantha Baeza via Storyful screenshot)

The plane banked into a turn after departing the airfield, and flew low over the ClayDesta Plaza office complex, barely clearing the Towers.

The plane was equipped with a giant parachute, which deployed and brought the plane down almost softly—right on top of a pickup truck.

The pilot and passenger both climbed from the crashed plane, suffering only minor injuries.

This light plane crash-landed on a pickup truck
This light plane crash-landed on a pickup truck in an office complex parking lot in Midland, Texas. (Beau Rolfe/Courtesy of FlightAware)

Headed Right for the Towers

People in the buildings watched the plane bank right toward the towers and were waiting for an impact.

“We were looking for the explosion, and it just lowered down and set it’s nose down and fell over,” Greg Hicks told CBS News.

“All of a sudden I turned around and went back in the building and it went pop,” Vinny Waggoner told CBS. “Then I go back outside and I said ‘man what was that?’ I saw all of the lights and everything going on over here.”

Cirrus SR-22 G3 GTS
Alan Lebeda shot this Cirrus SR-22 G3 GTS over Brno-Turany, Czech Republic ,on Sept. 25, 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)

Greg Hicks said watching the plane approach reminded him of 9-11.

“As if turned and banked, it leveled out and when it leveled out all we saw was the nose of it. The first thing that flashes in your mind is 9-11, right?” Hicks asked CBS News.

“So, we started walking toward the door and the parachute deployed. When the parachute deployed, it just picked the plane up totally vertical and just sets it down like a mama sets a baby down.”  

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎David Perez Jr.‎‏ في الجمعة، ١٢ أكتوبر ٢٠١٨

Ashlyn McKay, who works at the West Texas National Bank, also saw the plane go down.

“It was like a loud ‘boom’,” McKay told Click2Houston. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ is this really happening?’ It’s crazy. You don’t see this every day!” McKay said.

She was relieved to see the two occupants leave the plane on their own.

“I was glad they were OK, and I felt bad for the person whose truck they landed on,” McKay said.

‘The Plane With the Parachute’

FlightAware reported that that the plane flew into the Midland Airpark the day before, and was heading on to Andrews County Airport in Andrews, Texas, about fifty miles away.

The plane involved in the crash, a Cirrus SR22, went into production in 2001 and has been the best-selling general aviation aircraft since 2003. The plane holds four to five passengers and is powered by a single 310-hp piston engine.

The plane is simple, basic, light, and strong. The airframe is composite, with a low wing and fixed tricycle-style landing gear. The sale price in 2017 was around $640,000.

The plane is also unusually safe.

One of the plane’s big selling points is its Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Cirrus markets the SR22 as “the plane with the parachute.”

Incidents like this one show the value of the CAPS system.

The FAA will investigate the crash.

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