MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) – A pilot said he was doing a friend a favor by taking a plane out for a spin on a nice sunny Saturday. However, the plane never got off the ground and narrowly avoided disaster.
Dave Bayless thought the grass was higher than normal when he tried to take off from Mount Pleasant/Scottdale Airport in Bullskin Township.
The 1964 Cessna C175 was moving down the runway picking up speed. Bayless soon realized it wasn’t going to be enough.
“We were right on the verge of getting in the air and I thought it didn’t look good. So, I said. ‘We’re aborting,’” Bayless said.
After aborting the takeoff, he tried to stop the plane.
“Before we got stopped, we went over the road and hit that railing and did a flip,” Bayless said.
The plane rolled off the grassy runway, hit a guardrail and landed upside down on a row of high-tension wires.
Bayless and Arvin Daniels, the plane’s owner, both climbed out.
“I was hanging upside down actually. I had to unbuckle my seatbelt,” Bayless said. ”I feel the Lord has always blessed me. I got a little bump, but it’s gone.”
Towing company owner Ken Mitchell brought in a crane to remove the plane. He said the plane could have easily touched the wrong wires.
“They were active. They were definitely active. He just happened to be fortunate enough that he didn’t touch the one that would have caused major problems. I’d say he was very lucky – within probably inches of his life,” Mitchell said.
“The Lord was with us. He’s trying to tell me something, but I’m not sure what it is yet,” Bayless said.
Bayless was treated at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and released. Daniels was not hurt.
The FAA is currently investigating the incident.