08/03/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Wilson, NY—A plane went down in a wooded area shortly after departing for a sky diving mission Sunday, August 1, 2010, consequently injuring six people on impact. The accident occurred approximately 50 feet from the grass runway at Wilson-based Hollands International Airport, according to information provided by the Buffalo News.
Reports indicated a six-seater Cessna 185 aircraft took off just before 2:15 p.m. when the pilot lost control at an altitude of about 30 to 40 feet. Upon doing so, the airplane seemingly struck some trees, eventually landing on the ground in an overturned position.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle… The plane was completely destroyed… The trees probably saved the lives of the people… [The plane] was probably in four of five pieces, and it was [a] soft landing rather than a hard landing,” said Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour.
Voutour noted, “Some citizens responded right away and performed CPR and several fire companies [responded], including South Wilson, Wilson, Newfane [and Olcott].”
The injured plane crash victims were then rushed to Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) via Mercy Flight helicopter or ambulance. According to reports, one skydiver aboard the aircraft suffered severe injuries and was listed in critical condition after the accident.
The pilot, as well as four others who were scheduled to partake in the skydiving mission, were listed in stable condition at ECMC after sustaining unspecified injuries.
A woman identified as Charlene Brusette was scheduled to take the take the next trip to the sky for her own jump. “I finally got brave enough. I was supposed to go on the next jump,” Brusette explained.
However, her courageous ideas changed upon receiving word of the accident. “Then the sheriff pulled in and said we have a report of a plane crash and the looks on the faces were unbelievable… I was saying, ‘thank God it wasn’t me,’ but hoping like hell everyone on that plane was all right. I wasn’t concerned anymore about getting on that plane,” she said.
“[Previously I was saying] ‘You’ve got to live for the moment.’ I’d no more than got those words out my mouth and then I heard about the crash. The experience is overwhelming,” Brusette added.
Frontier Skydivers was reportedly the company that rented the aircraft for Sunday’s missions. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were expected to conduct a full investigation into the injurious aviation accident.
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