Plane forced to make emergency landing in Powhatan - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Plane forced to make emergency landing in Powhatan

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - There were some scary moments for drivers traveling Old Buckingham Road in Powhatan County. A plane was forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Giles Road. Considering everything that could've gone wrong in this crazy incident, many people were thankful it turned out the way it did.

Jason Onorati only needed one word to describe what life was like in his neighborhood Friday night.

"Certainly wild."

His neighbor Kalin Parker saw the whole thing happen.

"I was outside doing some chores and I looked up and I saw a plane land on the side of the road," he said.  

*Land* being the key word. Emergency responders say the pilot, Mark Witte, was making his way to North Carolina from Northern Virginia when he started losing power. He knew he had to put the plane down and fast.

"It can turn out alright, if it is a skilled pilot and the pilot has the opportunity to set it down on a road way or in a field," said Powhatan Fire Chief Rick Butcher

Witte met that criterion. He put the plane down in a field, just barley clipping a power line with his tail as he brought it down. Jason can't believe didn't lead to something worse.

"I don't know if you all caught the power lines coming down through here," he asked reporters. "How he missed them, I don't know. He had somebody up in the sky there with him, other than him, I can tell you that much."

Witte will be fine. The plane dumped a bit of fuel, but nothing that should cause a problem. The only lasting impact this *almost crash* will have is in the memories of those who were there. 

"You definitely don't come home every day from work and see a plane at the end of the driveway," Jason said.

The other close call came from a car traveling down Old Buckingham Road.  A white SUV nearly collided with the plane as it landed, but everything turned out okay. The driver was not injured.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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