Sunday, February 19, 2017

Incident occurred near Lookout Mountain Airport (0GE3), Dade County, Georgia

WILDWOOD, Ga. — Bobby Fitzhugh pulls hang gliders with a plane for a living. Sunday night, he survived a plane crash.

Fitzhugh was towing a pair of hang gliders with his Dragonfly Light Sport Aircraft. While in mid-air, Fitzhugh's plane engine malfunctioned approximately 100 feet from the ground, forcing him to abandon his hang gliders and crash his plane into nearby trees. The crash happened at the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding Park off of Creek Road in Wildwood.

"I was just too low to get the plane around like I wanted to." said Fitzhugh. "It was kind of breathtaking, before you're gonna hit, just close your eyes, yell some cuss words, and power in."

The 26-year-old pilot said he wanted to avoid crashing into the nearby creek and any big trees. The park would not allow News Channel 9 to see or photograph the plane's damages. After the aircraft went down, co-workers say they saw Fitzhugh immediately get up.

"Bobby did a great job of getting out of the plane," said Hang Gliding Instructor Willie Vaughn. "I think his exact words were 'not a scratch on me.'"

Not a scratch on his confidence either. The pilot sat in a plane Monday morning, about 18 hours after the accident, and took a flight.

"I kinda took that deep breath, was like, 'Okay, I'm alright, it's good,'" he said. "So I'm fine, smooth sailing."

Fitzhugh spent the afternoon doing his job, just as normal, and even after his experience, he finds nothing scary about it.

"When you get in a car crash, you're not too afraid to get in a car and drive again," Fitzhugh said. "They're are a lot more things to run into on the road than in the sky."

Employees at the park say the plane is locked up in a hangar. They will recover the usable parts to build a new one.


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