A plane crashed into a McDonald’s parking lot. Though the pilot has been severely injured, he is alive.
A Beechcraft Bonanza airplane from Illinois crashed into a McDonald’s parking lot in the 8000 block of DeSiard Street in Illinois Tuesday morning. Only the pilot was on board and he suffered what were considered “serious” injuries. Emergency personnel responded by sending a helicopter that landed in a nearby supermarket parking lot to airlift the pilot to a hospital.
The plane, registered in the name of Donald R. Jones, was being piloted by Michael Ray Martin. However, as per federal records, the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza was registered to WFO Flying Service in Carmi, Ill. The owner, Mike Brown, owns a farm chemical company and uses planes for crop dusting. Interestingly, the now-turtled plane doesn’t appear to have any crop dusting ‘sprayers’ attached.
Though it wasn’t immediately clear what happened, cockpit recordings indicate the pilot had radioed about the plane’s fuel supply. Preliminary investigations indicate that the main fuel line could have got obstructed or severed, causing the plane to descend very rapidly and crash in the McDonald’s parking lot, reported LA Times.
Local observers reported the plane came down pretty fast, and clipped some trees before crashing into the ground. Evidently, Michael displayed exceptional awareness and skill in steering the plane into a relatively vacant spot. The town has a population of 50,000.
Describing the crash-site, Monroe Municipal Airport Manager Ron Phillips said, “Part of the plane is up against the McDonald’s sign post and it looks like maybe one car was damaged. The plane broke apart but it doesn’t seem like any other major damage to any facilities around,” reported The Advertiser.
What’s strange about the incident is that the crash occurred less than two miles from Monroe Regional Airport, but law enforcement officials couldn’t confirm from where the plane took off, nor where it was headed.
Though the McDonald’s outlet wasn’t reported to have been closed, local police did shut down attached lanes. The nearest National Transportation Safety Board office is in Dallas and authorities expect NTSB officials to reach the spot only by Wednesday.
The Beechcraft Bonanza airplanes are relatively safe and fly at low altitudes and aren’t designed built for speed and maneuverability. Despite being slow, these planes are exceptionally efficient at covering large fields and ensuring the crops are well protected. Though these are essentially farm equipment with wings, last year in January, a plane of similar make and model crashed in Richwood, killing 4 people.
[Image Credit | Daily Mail]