Pilot Walks Away After Crashing Plane Into Tree

A pilot in Connecticut survived a dramatic crash in a parking lot, sustaining only minor injuries. Manfred Forst, a 79-year-old pilot, was flying his plane to breakfast on Monday morning when his plane crashed into a tree in a parking lot in Plainville, Connecticut.

Pilot Walks Away After Crashing Plane Pilot Walks Away After Crashing Plane Into Tree

Incredible footage of the crash was released by Plainville Police Department. It shows the pilot veering towards the tree before crashing into it, flipping over and landing in the car park of a business adjacent to Robertson Airport.

Dave Thayer, who often visits Robertson to watch landings and takeoffs, was near the northern end of the parking lot when he saw the plane approaching from the south. Thayer said it was very low as it suddenly turned west – away from the runway. “I knew he had a problem. It was wavering, it was going very slow,” Thayer said. “I heard the bang and knew that he went down.”

Forst, who goes by Fred, is originally from Germany and now lives in Canton. He said he was going to breakfast when the 1981 Cessna 172 he was piloting crashed at 11:24 a.m. behind Carling Technologies, a business that is adjacent to the airport. After the crash, employees of Carling Technologies came to his rescue, lifting a wing of the plane and helping Forst out of the cockpit, because of the smell of gas, according to the police report.

“I was very fortunate I got out of it without any real injuries,” Forst said. “I’m just so thankful.”

On Tuesday, he said he cannot discuss any details, but is thankful no one else got hurt and he wants to thank everyone who responded to the scene and called 911. Forst said he was happy to see his wife when he got home and gave her a big kiss. She’s always concerned when he’s flying, Forst said, so his days as a pilot might be over.