LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A pilot is safe after he crashed his plane into a tree Thursday morning.
Lincoln County Fire and Rescue officials said the plane crashed into a tree near Wolf Creek Road before 9 a.m. After the crash, the 78-year-old pilot was able to make his way onto a tree branch and await rescuers. Eventually, Matt Conoyer of Central County Fire and Rescue was able to climb up to the pilot, Mike Fleming, and get him down using a harness.
"He said he was doing fine but his legs were getting tired," Conoyer said.
More than two hours after the crash, Fleming was slowly brought down to safety.
Fleming said he has been flying since he was a teenager and was trying to land on his private airstrip in front of his home after the engine in his one-seater ultralight plane began to sputter. He tried to clear the trees between him and the runway.
"I thought, 'Well, I'm gonna make it,'" he said. "I thought 'There's some taller ones than I can make.'"
He was unable to make it but got lucky, avoiding a more serious crash when his aircraft lodged itself into the trees.
Fleming was looked over by medical personnel at the scene, but was not injured.
Officials said now that Fleming is safe, they will look over the plane to ensure it doesn’t fall and injure anyone but they believe it is securely in the tree.
This is not the first time News 4 has covered an accident involving Fleming. In 2018, he suffered a broken arm in a plane crash.