A young man says he felt doomed as a burning plane headed his way, before it made a sharp turn and landed on a nearby suburban Phoenix home, destroying most of it but leaving its occupants unharmed.
Jesse Cagle-Villegas said he was in the swimming pool when he heard a loud explosion and within seconds noticed the plane was headed in his direction only for it to make a sharp left. He ran to the front yard and saw a parachute coming down to an empty field. The man ran toward the field, jumped over a brick wall and called out for the person who had just landed.
It turned out that the person was the pilot, who earlier had called for help after his small plane caught fire. The young helped him walk to a house, where the homeowner called for help.The occupants of the house on which the plane did land were able to get out safely .
The pilot of the burning plane radioed into the tower moments before he bailed out of the aircraft in a parachute.The tower operator asked him if he was able to land at nearby airports in Chandler and Mesa. No one responded until a Southwest Airlines pilot informed the tower: “That plane went down.”
A preliminary report on the crash should be issued within a week or two, said NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway.The pilot was hospitalized for treatment of burns, but details on his injuries were not available.Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kinetzer said the NTSB is leading the investigation into the cause of the crash. FAA online records list the plane as being registered to a Chandler business.