July 1, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Man, 70, walks away from Wadsworth plane crash

WADSWORTH — An Akron man escaped serious injury Tuesday when his small plane crashed just south of Skypark Airport.

Harry King, 70, Akron, missed the mark on runway 21 at the Greenwich Road airport about 1:15 p.m.

A police news release said the left wing on King’s Cessna 152 single-engine plane struck the ground in a cornfield, forcing the nose down and causing the plane to spin around before stopping in the field.

“The nose was high when he went past the hangar where I was standing,” said airport mechanic Jim Evans. “I ran out because I knew he was going to crash.”

Police Sgt. Tim Dearmitt said a preliminary report shows that King was trying to land against the wind and also missed a halfway mark on the runway. The mark indicates the point where a pilot must abort the landing and circle back around for another attempt.

Dearmitt said King already was flying too low, and did not have enough airspeed to climb to the necessary altitude for another approach.

Evans said King is an experienced pilot who frequently flies in and out of Skypark Airport.

Evans said King wasn’t more than 15 feet above the ground when he crossed Greenwich Road, flying south.

King’s engine was still at full power, Evans said, adding that he was lucky to be alive. The plane was totaled.

He said King sustained knee and back injuries but nothing serious. King was transported by Seville-Guilford EMS to Wadsworth Rittman Hospital.

The hospital said he was treated and released. King did not return a call seeking comment.

Ohio Highway Patrol, the FAA, Seville-Guilford EMS and the Seville-Guilford Fire Department assisted.

Safety restraints were used by the pilot of the plane and alcohol and/or drugs were not a factor in this traffic crash.

The crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.