Plane crash at local airport
Local pilot pulled from wreckage of nose-first crash by Madison Municipal Airport employees
By Patrick Yost
Three men working on an airport hanger at the Madison Municipal Airport were able to pull a pilot free moments after his plane crashed.
According to Bobby Reynolds, fixed base operator (FBO), Madison Municipal Airport, a “Breezy” airplane piloted by Sandy Sanford, 67, Madison, lost power moments before it cleared the runway last Wednesday and crashed, nose first, into the ground.
Reynolds said he was in his office at the airport at approximately 6:30 p.m. when he heard two distinct popping noises. “I saw a puff of black smoke,” Reynolds said. “The plane did not deliver enough power to keep flying.”
Ray Lanford; his son, Josh Lanford; and Chris Hilsman were working on Sanford’s hangar when the crash occurred. Ray Lanford said he watched Sanford go through his pre-flight routine before the plane taxied in a west-bound direction. Ray Lanford said he too heard popping noises and after he observed a puff of black smoke, the plane went down.
Ray Lanford said he, his son and Hilsman immediately drove to the crash site at the west end of the runway. Sanford was strapped in the plane, Lanford said, and was cut out by his son Josh while he band Hilsman moved the plane. Fuel was leaking from the "experimental" aircraft, Lanford said.
Sanford was transported to Athens Regional Hospital and on Tuesday had been removed from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He suffered several fractures.
Reynolds said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sent investigators to the site on Friday to begin a preliminary investigation.
Printed in the October 18, 2012 edition