A Tampa pilot is recovering after the plane he built by hand crashed into a Zephyrhills cow pasture. The plane went down around 2:30 Monday afternoon less than five miles from Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, where it took off from.
The Hummel Ultra Cruiser single engine plane’s tail number is registered to James Hargrove, of Tampa. Pasco Fire Rescue says no one else was on board.
Bob Porter is a pilot and owns the property where the experimental aircraft crashed. It’s far from the first crash he’s seen after years in aviation but this was the first to, quite literally, hit this close to home. He and his grandson immediately rushed down to the crash site to find the pilot bloody but alive. The aircraft was on its nose, partially in a tree, with one of the wings completely crumpled.
“It sounded like two automobiles running into one another at 50 miles per hour,” Porter described the crash. “He was bruised all over but he was still coherent and able to talk to us.”
Porter says he then called 911 for help.
Friends of James Hargrove say the plane reportedly lost engine power and that the pilot suffered a broken ankle in the wreck.
“I’m just glad he’s not hurt any worse than he is,” Porter said, noting he has seen less-damaging plane crashes that still proved to be fatal.
A spokesperson with Pasco Fire Rescue says the NTSB has been notified.
No word yet on what caused the plane’s engine to cut off.
ORIGINAL STORY: One person was injured when a homemade aircraft crashed in Zephyrhills on Monday afternoon, according to crews that responded to the scene.
A spokesman for Pasco Fire Rescue says the crash happened on Paddock Lane near Simmons Road on Monday around 2:30 p.m.
Deputies say the pilot reported that he lost power while attempting the land the aircraft and ended up crashing it into a tree.
The pilot was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Fire crews say there are no hazards reported from the aircraft.