DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A small plane made an emergency landing in Westmoreland County Wednesday night.
The aircraft landed in a field near the Latrobe Skating Center on Ligonier Street Extension.
The plane belongs to Westmoreland Aviation, a flight school.
KDKA’s David Highfield reports the pilot and passenger knew they were losing altitude and weren’t going to make to the airport in Latrobe.
The pilot circling Arnold Palmer Regional Airport put out a mayday call. He was reportedly guided to land on a hillside in Derry Township about two miles north of the airport.
“When they realized they weren’t going to make the airport, they turned the plane around to try and find some place where they wouldn’t cause any additional damage or injuries to anyone else,” said Dan Stevens, head of emergency management in Westmoreland County. “They found the field behind us, landed the plane and the two people are able to walk away from the emergency landing that they had.”
Lori Salandro-Hoyman and her husband, Randy Hoyman, were in their car when they saw the plane.
“It looked like it was going toward the airport just fine and then all of a sudden it like veered left and it just went straight down,” Salandro-Hoyman said. “I said to my husband, ‘That plane just crashed!’”
Emergency crews found the pilot outside the Cherokee 180. Neither pilot nor the passenger was hurt.
Stevens says there was damage to the underside of the plane.
Officials with the FAA are expected to talk with the two people who were on the plane.
Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.