NBC10.com - Ted Greenberg
Both the pilot and passenger walked away virtually unharmed from a plane that crashed on Friday at New Jersey's Hammonton Municipal Airport. Pilot Luis Terry and his co-pilot were the only two aboard. Terry says mechanical problems caused the accident. NBC10's Ted Greenberg reports.
The pilot and passenger survived a plane crash this morning at the Hammonton Municipal Airport in Hammonton, New Jersey.
"I'm okay," pilot Luis Terry told NBC10's Ted Greenberg shortly after he'd walked away from the accident.
Terry and his co-pilot were the only people on board the aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
"Upon landing he was having difficulty keeping the plane on the tarmac," said Lt. Kevin Friel with Hammonton police.
The plane, a 1977 twin-engine Cessna Chancellor, skidded off runway 3, smashed into some trees and caught fire, according to witnesses.
"The plane still had a substantial amount of fuel in the plane and luckily they were able to get out. If their exit of the plane was blocked, it probably would have been a pretty horrific event," Friel said.
Terry was not injured. His co-pilot suffered minor cuts and scrapes on his arm.
The plane left Gaithersburg, Maryland at 11:07 and according to the FAA, arrived in Hammonton at 11:48.
Pictures taken within minutes of the crash showed smoke coming out of the body of the plane and fire under one of the wings.
Terry stood smoking a cigarette outside the main building of the small airport when we questioned him about what caused the accident.
"Mechanical trouble," he said.
The FAA was on site this afternoon questioning Terry and his co-pilot, which is standard procedure.
Terry, who is from Damascus, Maryland, is listed in the FAA database as the owner of the plane.
A preliminary report on the cause of the crash could be issued in a week to ten days.
The Hammonton airport is expected to re-open on Saturday.