Good Samaritans Recount Rescuing Pilot From Burning Plane

August 23, 2018 10:22 PM

A Ham Lake man was in the hospital Thursday after a plane he was flying crashed at Anoka County-Blaine airport.

Officials were able to put the fire out in minutes. But they credit two good Samaritans for saving the pilot's life


The plane went down around 11:05 a.m. Thursday. The pilot involved - who was not identified - is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.

But police said he'll survive.

That's an outcome investigators said was made possible by two men brave enough to run toward the fire without a second thought.

RELATED: Man Injured in Plane Crash at Anoka County-Blaine Airport

"I watched him crash into the field," Kevin Potter said. "I looked over and the guy was outside of the aircraft on the ground. And I could see that he was on fire."

Potter called 911 as he drove along the airport fence until he saw a gate he could hop.

He said he had to get the pilot as fast as he could.

"When I saw that he was on fire, I just knew he needed help," he said.

"His legs were still on fire," said Jonathan Wells, who also hopped through the airport fence to help after seeing Potter run toward the plane.

"We drug him away from the plane, because at that time the plane was really engulfed in flames, and if he would have stayed there he would have gotten more injured than he already was," Wells said.

Exactly what caused the 1955 T28B to go down remains under investigation. Police said the pilot flies weekly, and has 20 years of experience behind him.

"We were very thankful that they were here," Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany said. "It certainly may have had a different outcome if they hadn't been there and hadn't done that."

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash. But it will likely be months before the investigation is finished.


Katherine Johnson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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