PORT TOWNSEND — A Port Townsend man escaped serious injury when the Cessna 140 he was flying crashed near Jefferson County International Airport on Monday, authorities said.
Witnesses reported seeing the small plane sputter, stall and crash into trees shortly after takeoff at about 12:47 p.m., East Jefferson Fire-Rescue officials said.
The plane came to a rest behind Lexar Homes at 92 Kala Square Place, which is about 2,000 feet from the east end of the runway.
The pilot, whose name was not immediately available, had exited the cockpit and was trying to shut off the fuel supply when firefighters arrived.
“I think he was very lucky to have survived without more serious injuries,” East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman Bill Beezley said in a telephone interview.
The pilot was treated for minor injuries by firefighter-paramedics and was taken to Jefferson Healthcare for further evaluation, Beezley said.
There were no other occupants in the single-engine Cessna.
The 1946 aircraft was reported to have been purchased by the pilot Saturday, Beezley said.
Witnesses said the engine was completely off before the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating, Jefferson County Sheriff David Stanko said.
Beezley said the plane missed a structure by about 25 feet after the emergency landing.
“It hit a tree with its left wing, and I think that kind of spun it around,” Beezley said.
“It did like a horizontal cartwheel and landed near a fence.”
The two-seat cockpit was not severely damaged.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].