Pilot Left Hanging After Crash

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An 87-year-old pilot was unhurt but undoubtedly uncomfortable after his Cessna ended up in trees short of the runway at Gettysburg Regional Airport in Pennsylvania on Saturday. The pilot, who has not been identified, hung from his seatbelt for four hours while 75 firefighters figured out how to get him down from the aircraft. The plane ended up hanging nose-down from a stand of trees after the pilot tried to get back to the field after an engine failure shortly after takeoff. He apparently didn't get very close. "The rescue was made more difficult by the fact that it was in the trees but also because the trees were so far off the road or the runway," Gettysburg Fire Department spokesman Russell McCutcheon told WHP News.

The pilot was on his way to Maryland when the engine quit. After they realized the pilot was virtually unscathed (a few scrapes on his hands) firefighters canceled a plan to lower a first responder from a helicopter to pull him out. Instead, they put up ladders and pulled him out the door. The aircraft is still in the tree while authorities figure out how to get it down. The tail is severed and the wings are wrecked but there is probably some salvage there. The pilot was taken to the hospital to be checked.