Photo taken by Julie Jones, Palm City, Florida
About 9:15 AM on Sunday, May 22nd, Prescott Regional Communications Center received a call from the Control Tower at Prescott airport with a report of an aircraft that crashed just outside of the airport boundary. The pilot was a 69-year-old male that was flying a 1963 Cessna 172. Just after takeoff, at about 500 to 700 feet, the pilot started to experience engine trouble and ended up crash landing just east of Willow Creek Road between James Lane and Warrior Way near the Deep Well Ranch subdivision.
The initial arriving unit on scene found the Cessna 172 upside down in a field with moderate damage and no fire whatsoever. A separate engine crew worked to stabilize the aircraft for a safe extrication of the pilot. Hose lines were pulled for protection of the patient and engine crews in the event of a fire. The pilot was treated for spinal injuries and placed on a full backboard. He denied loss of consciousness and had no other indications of head injury so he was transported by ground to Yavapai Regional Medical Center by Lifeline ambulance. The scene was secured for further investigation by law-enforcement, airport authorities and NTSB.
While most people don’t encounter being a pilot in a plane crash, this gentleman‘s seatbelt undoubtedly saved his life. It’s important to remember whether or not you are flying a light aircraft or driving your own personal vehicle, seatbelts do, indeed, save lives.
Buckle up, every time.