Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Portable toilets help pilot survive crash

TACOMA, Wash., May 3 (UPI) -- A pilot walked away from a crash landing in Washington state when a field full of portable toilets cushioned the impact on the ground for his small plane.

The 67-year-old pilot, whose name was not reported, had just taken off from Pierce County-Thun Field at 3:20 p.m. PDT Friday when his engine stopped, The Tacoma News-Tribune reported Saturday.

The Cessna 182 suffered apparent engine failure after taking off from Thun Field airfield south-east of Tacoma in Washington state.

He was alone in the 1982 Cessna.

"The plane took off, he got about 150 feet in the air and his engine quit running," Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, said. "He tried to turn around and come back and land, but he didn't quite make it."

As it fell, the plane hit a fence, flipped upside down (ick!) and landed on toilets being stored near the runway by the Northwest Cascade company.

"The Honey Buckets kind of cushioned things," a Northwest Cascade worker who did not want to be named told the News-Tribune.

The 67-year-old pilot, who was reported to have been flying alone, has not been identified.

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