Small Plane Crashes Into Backyard, Pilot and Passengers ‘Somehow Survived Without a Scratch,’ Police Said

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
March 10, 2020US News

A father and son from Kansas had their happy holiday suddenly turned upside down after they suffered mechanical problems while flying a small plane in Florida.

Jason Dougherty, 47, and his son Caleb Dougherty, 22, were flying in the Destin area of Okaloosa County during their vacation when the plane started to show engine trouble as they were coming into land, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

In the Facebook post, police said the two men and their yellow Labrador retriever flying with them, “somehow survived without a scratch after just missing a home and landing in a tree.”

The Dougherty’s were aboard a Beech Bonanza aircraft and went down into a Florida woman’s backyard near the Destin Executive Airport runway on the morning of March 8, police said.

Emergency officials rushed to the area near the airport after calls at 10:08 a.m. local time about a small plane crash.

A video from the crash site shared on Facebook shows the plane hanging in the tree in the area of Main Street and Planet Drive.

The homeowner, a Florida woman who was not identified said she was on a walk and escaped potential harm.

“If I had gotten home from the walk any earlier I would have been sitting right there watching the planes,” the woman told CNN.

NTD Photo
A Beech Bonanza aircraft that went down after experiencing an engine problem in the Destin area of Okaloosa County, Florida, on March 8, 2020. (Screenshot from video via CNN/WEAR)

A resident from the area told USA Today they were already worried that such an event would happen because of their close proximity to the airport.

“We’re not in the direct path of the flight landing, but we’ve always said that it’s not a matter of if it’ll happen, but when it’ll happen,” she told the outlet. “This is a perfect example. … Everyone is extremely lucky.”

Authorities said The Federal Aviation Administration and The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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