Small plane crashes near Globe

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Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas
Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas
Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas
Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas
Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas Globe plane crash By Jennifer Thomas

GLOBE, Ariz. -- Authorities are investigating a plane crash that happened Friday morning near Globe.

The Thunder Mustang lost oil pressure and the pilot had to crash-land north of Highway 188, according to Lt. Keith Thompson with the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

The single-engine aircraft was a total loss.

The pilot was the only person on board. Thompson said he sustained injuries to his face and was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson.

"It looked like just blood coming out from like his nose real bad and his head," said a worker who rushed to the pilot's aid. "He was in shorts. I noticed a lot of cuts on his legs."

The plane was en route to the Copperstate Fly-in & Aviation Expo in Casa Grande, where more than 6,000 people are expected to admire more than 500 airplanes.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

On Thursday, another pilot en route to the Copperstate Fly-in was forced to make an emergency belly landing. The rare 1994 P-51 Mustang, known as the "Big Beautiful Doll," had a problem with its landing gear.

The pilot landed at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and walked away unharmed.

"When I heard the first one, I was surprised," said veteran pilot Lee Maxson. "When I heard that there was a second airplane, I was really shocked."

Maxson, a pilot of more than three decades, says mechanics spend numerous hours working on these planes. His 1942 Stearman Biplane has to past a safety test every year.

"It only happens every five or 10 years where people have mechanical problems and have a belly landing like that in the whole country, and then to have that happen and something else happen the following day, I mean, it's pretty odd," he said.

Maxson also said an older airplane isn't necessarily less safe.

"Even when the airplanes were brand new, they had those problems occasionally," he said. "You'll see a modern airplane have the same problem. ... They've got a lot of money invested in these airplanes, and they spend a lot of money to make sure that all the systems operate right on them."