On October 28th, 2013, a pilot crashed her year-old home-built Glasair plane into power lines near a residential neighborhood. Investigators believe the dense fog and icing conditions might have been a factor in the crash.
Several neighbors in the subdivision reported hearing the plane flying very low prior to the crash. “I heard the boom and opened up my curtains,” recalls Jennifer Frieling.
She grabbed a flashlight and went into her backyard to find the tail section of the plane.
“I went out into the field to see if I could see anything and shined my light into the gulch and saw the tail of the airplane, so I called 911,” she said. “I hollered down into the wreckage to see if I could hear anything and got no response. While I was on the phone with the dispatcher, I turned to my right and the pilot’s body was laying back and to my right.”
Frieling stayed with the pilot, who was unconscious but breathing, until firefighters arrived. The pilot is in serious but stable condition.
NTSB investigators are examining the wreckage looking for clues to help determine the cause of the crash. Although it isn’t clear why she was flying so low, authorities believe that she may have been trying to stay visual and keep ground reference.
Ironically, the very thing that caused the crash might have also saved the pilot’s life. The crash into the power lines also slowed the airplane down just causing the airplane to fall to the ground with a reduced speed.
The name of the pilot has not been released at this time.