Two On The Ground Hit By Aircraft


Bystanders are rarely hurt in GA accidents, but recently, two non-flying women were injured when airplanes crashed into them. Early Sunday morning, veterinarian Laura Pratt was driving to work near Houston, Texas, when a Piper PA-34 Seneca trying to land at an airport hit power lines, then crashed in the road, hitting Pratt’s car. The pilot and his 10-year-old grandson were killed. Pratt was knocked out by the impact and is recovering from minor injuries. Last Wednesday afternoon, in Blue Hill, Neb., an ultralight pilot (now criminally charged) was flying above a high-school football game when he crashed into the field. Bystander Kathy Seeman suffered a broken shoulder blade when she was hit by a wing as the aircraft rolled to a stop. The aircraft also hit two parked cars. The pilot suffered some minor cuts, and has been charged with two counts of assault, criminal mischief, operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test. “I think everybody is taking this matter quite seriously because there were children [nearby],” said County Attorney Jerry McDole. “There were a lot of young people. There were a lot of spectators, and I think that it is just ordinary prudence would tell you that this was not a place for this aircraft to be.”