Pilot walks away from plane crash in Claiborne County

Pilot walks away from plane crash in Claiborne County

Posted:
The plane that went down in New Tazewell Sunday was a single-engine experimental plane. The plane that went down in New Tazewell Sunday was a single-engine experimental plane.
The plane caught high winds along the runway and nosed down into the runway. The plane caught high winds along the runway and nosed down into the runway.
The plane stopped just inches of a 30-foot retaining wall. The plane stopped just inches of a 30-foot retaining wall.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

NEW TAZEWELL (WATE) - Officials say high winds are to blame for a plane crash Sunday morning at an airport in Claiborne County, and they say the pilot of that aircraft is lucky to be alive.

The plane crashed just after 10:30 a.m. at the New Tazewell Municipal Airport.

The Tazewell-New Tazewell Fire Department says pilot Gregory Stone of Jonesborough had landed safely at the airport earlier in the day, but crashed his plane as he was preparing to takeoff again.

They say a strong crosswind caught his single-engine, experimental plane as he was moving down the runway.

"He was taxiing up the runway when he actually lost control of the plane, still on the ground, taxiing on the runway," said Fire Chief Bill Davidson, of the Tazewell-New Tazewell Fire Department.

His plane was swept off the runway and into the grass.

The propeller caught the ground and send the aircraft spinning onto it's side.

It finally came to a stop after about 30 yards.

Stone was able to make it out of the plane before emergency crews arrived and reported no serious injuries.

The plane is badly damaged.

Davidson says the pilot is lucky the plane stopped where it did, or this situation could have been much worse.

A retaining wall alongside the runway helped bring the plane to a stop, just inches from a 30 foot drop.

"Had the plane continued over that embankment, of course he would have been trapped in the plane and would have had no way to get out of the plane. I'm sure he would have been severely injured if not killed had he gone over the embankment," said Davidson. "He's very lucky that he got stopped in time and I'm sure that's one ride he'll never forget."

The runway was shut down for a few hours while emergency crews responded to the crash.

It has since reopened.

Officials have reported the crash to the FAA and the NTSB, but have been told no further investigation is needed.

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