Small plane crashes near homes, pilot OK
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A tiny scratch on his hand is all an experienced pilot received when his small plane crashed near some South Florida homes, Friday morning.
Pilot Jimmy Smith crawled out of his mangled plane around 6:20 a.m. after it hit some power lines before crashing in a small neighborhood near 2200 North Dixie Highway. Power in the area remains out.
Smith was on his way to Tampa from the Pompano Beach Airport to get his G36 Bonanza serviced when, he said, "it just like dropped out of the sky once it hit the wire. It just went down."
The 75-year-old is not sure what caused the crash landing. "The gear was up, so I can't imagine. It could have been the propeller. It could have been anything on the bottom," said Smith. "It happened all so fast. I just don't remember."
One homeowner was awoken by the impact. "I was sleeping, and I heard a big crash, woke up and went to the backyard, and there was a small plane there," said Jualson Silme.
Even with 7400 hours and 34 years in the air, Smith said training could not help him. "I knew I couldn't save the situation so just let things happen as they would."
Firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly foamed down the smoking wreckage.
The NTSB is investigating. A crew arrived to remove the wreckage just before 5 p.m. to a warehouse at the Opa-Locka Airport to conitnue its investigation.
Smith said his wife has been trying to get him to stop flying for about 5 years, and now, he doesn't think he will be back in air ever again after this terrifying crash. "It's a miracle. I believe in miracles."
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