Russell Smith, a pilot with over 50 years of flight experience walked away with minor injuries to his hand and a splitting headache after the six-seater Cessna 421 Twin Engine he was piloting crashed into a huge Oak tree in Alabama and burst into flames.
The plane’s twisted wreckage was tangled in the branches of the tree as the flames spread and smoke billowed with the pilot trapped inside.
Audrey Morris, a shop owner in the area said “I heard a big boom, I looked out I thought a tornado hit. And then I’ve seen a plane in a tree.”
As the flames from the mangled wreck quickly spread to the surrounding vegetation, Mr Morris thought there was no way the pilot could still be alive.
But then he saw movement in the cockpit and he, along with other witnesses, rushed over to help the pilot who emerged with only minor injuries and a headache. The whole thing was caught on nearby CCTV.
Mr Smith said: ‘My seat was on fire and I thought I only had a few seconds so I actually did a back somersault out of the cockpit door.’
‘It happened so quick, I didn’t have time to think,’ he added, before admitting that he believed he was going to die.
Looking at his slightly cut hand he said he wasn’t going to hospital but was going home to lie down: ‘Thank God I walked away from that mess.’
Source: UK Daily Mail
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