ONLY ON 12: Pilot speaks about final moments before plane crash


Pilot of plane crash speaks out.

Pilot of plane crash speaks out.

News 12 at 11 O'clock / Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) - An afternoon full of emergency landing practice turned into a real life test.

"I just tried to stay above the trees and try to make the field," said Larry Putt, whose plane crashed Monday night in Trenton.

A field that was only hundreds of feet away. But when Putt's plane engine died, it felt like thousands of miles.

"I tried everything to restart it, i was working on restarting the engine, checking fuel, checking everything but i couldn't get it to restart," he said.

Seconds after failure, his plane began to inch its way towards the ground. The original runway was just over the trees, but too far away for him to make.

"About the only thing that I could think was that this is probably going to end badly," Putt told News 12's Patrick Price.

His plane cut through the trees And through power lines before he crashed.

"I hit a tree with one of the wings at probably about 70 miles an hour and it spun me around and spun me into a power pole and then dropped to the ground," he said.

He walked away with just a few scratches but he's shaken up. He says, "You know it's a life or death situation but there's nothing you can do about it."

Looking at the wreckage today, Putt's thinking back on the flight and what went wrong with the plane.

"Remarkably dependable but every now and then something goes wrong as it did with this one," he said.

Putt got pilots license two years ago but training for an emergency like this was just talk.

"Always looking for alternate landings sites, that's always in the back of their mind, you never know when that engine could quit," he said.

But last night, he experienced it first hand.

"Trying to get on that field, you don't think about it, you just fly the plane," said Putts.

A plane that's now in pieces, pieces he says he'll put back together.

For now, he's grateful for the training he's gotten over the last two years.

"Training is what prepares you for moments like this," he said.


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