Ultralight test flight ends with a crash in Gulf Park Estates

Published: Oct. 11, 2017 at 2:22 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2017 at 6:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a residential area of the Gulf Park Estates community after the small plane he was flying lost power.

The 911 call came in just around 10 a.m that the Ultralight plane slammed into a backyard fence on Marguerite Drive.

"I saw the plane when it flew over - you know the airport is only a couple miles from here," Howard Mitchell said. "I heard a little noise that sounded like a tree falling. I peeped around the corner and I saw the wing."

The pilot -James Hitterman - told police he had only been airborne in the single seat plane for about 15 minutes. He wasn't hurt, but he also wasn't willing to talk with WLOX News crews about the accident.

"I guess you can say that may be a freak accident, the guy said the engine just stalled on him," Mitchell said.

Law enforcement officials say the pilot was taking the plane on a test fly because he wanted to buy it. Hitterman told police that while he was in the air, the aircraft began spluttering and spitting. He did everything he could to try to keep the plane airborne, but couldn't keep it in the sky.

"Gotta be a good pilot. He steered it towards the fence instead of the house," Mitchell said.

Repairing the fence will be an easy fix to something that could have potentially been a lot worse.

In order to remove the plane from the yard, crews had to dismantle it by separating the wings from the body. The FAA will conduct it's own investigation into the cause of the crash.

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