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Pilot OK after plane crash at Caldwell Airport

The pilot was practicing takeoff and landing when his engine cut out in mid-air.

CALDWELL, Idaho — No one was hurt when a small airplane struck a fence and crashed at the Caldwell Airport Thursday morning.

Caldwell Airport Manager Rob Oates said the pilot, a local Caldwell man, had been flying in the traffic pattern, practicing landing and takeoff, when the Stinson aircraft's engine cut out. 

The pilot tried to reach the runway, but did not have enough altitude, Oates said. As it came in low, the plane's wheels hooked on a fence at the airport, flipping the plane forward. It landed on the ground on its roof.

Oates said the pilot, who was the only person in the plane, was "quite shaken, but uninjured." He was wearing a four-point harness, which helped protect him from injury in the crash.

The aircraft itself was badly damaged. 

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The plane crash happened in full view of drivers on the nearby Ustick Road, and multiple alarmed passersby dialed 911. Police and firefighter responded to the airport, Oates said, but luckily there was no fire or fuel spill.

Oates said it was not immediately clear what caused the plane's engine to fail. The crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Crews brought out a crane to lift up the crashed plane and get it upright.

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