Department of Public Safety Troopers, along with Henderson Fire Department and Rusk County Office of Emergency Management officials, responded to a small engine plane crash near the Rusk County Airport Saturday afternoon.
The plane, a restored 1941 Boeing Stearman, reported a loss of power upon takeoff, the cause of which is still under investigation. Not having enough altitude to land in a nearby field, the pilot crash-landed in a wooded area at the northwest corner of the airport. Both pilot and passenger walked away from the crash and out of the woods, where they were discovered by a DPS Trooper who was actively searching for the pair.
Both were taken to UTHealth-Tyler, where the pilot was treated for lacerations to his face, receiving more than 100 stitches. Unable to release the plane’s controls, he hit the windscreen, upon impact, cutting his chin and knocking out and breaking several teeth. The passenger, the daughter of the pilot, only suffered minor abrasions, as she’d been able to shield her face with her hands, but demonstrated symptoms of shock at the scene.
The pair are in good condition, if not a bit sore, but, sadly, the plane will be a total loss.