DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County man is being called a hero after safely landing a plane in a Derry Township field.

Bill Wright, 74, of Greensburg was flying with a student last night when the plane experienced some sort of power failure about 2.5 miles from the airport.

Wright immediately began looking for a dark area away from town to bring the plane down. He navigated around houses and power lines and barely clipped a few trees on the way down. Miraculously, neither he nor his student was injured.

Wright has been flying for 55 years. He currently works as a flight instructor out of Westmoreland Aviation in Murrysville.

He was in good spirits about the ordeal and joked, “If this were a short landing contest, we would have won.”

When asked if he would fly again he responded, “You’re supposed to get back on the horse, right? I guess we’ll see.”

Owners of Westmoreland Aviation today praised Wright for safely landing the plane. Westmoreland County public safety officials called Wright a hero.

The FAA was on scene looking for an official cause to the crash. Hazmat crews were on scene removing gas from the aircraft.

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