A plane crashed in unincorporated Enumclaw around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The 50-year-old pilot, the only person on board, survived.
Photos from first responders show the plane barely recognizable after it crashed into a forested area.
"That where all the noise came from. It's wrapped up like a pretzel," said John Konop, who heard the plane crash on his neighbor's property.
“I was out working on my truck and I heard a loud explosion,” Konop said. “It sounded almost like scaffolding falling off a building.”
Konop said the crash was near a clearing and it’s likely the pilot aimed for that area.
“That’s probably how he was able to survive, because if he landed in the trees he probably wouldn't have made it,” Konop said. “Thankfully he’s OK.”
The FAA said the pilot started in The Dalles, Oregon and was flying to Paine Field in Everett. FAA records show the plane -- a Beechcraft BE36, a single engine, fix-winged aircraft -- belongs to Systima Technologies, a manufacturing company in Kirkland. Its website says it does work for defense, space, and commercial markets.
The FAA said the pilot reported engine trouble. The King County Sheriff’s Office said the pilot called 911 and reported he was trapped and smelled gas.
The plane crashed near the end of 392nd Road in unincorporated Enumclaw on private property. First responders traced the pilot's phone signal.
The fire department said the plane crashed in a ravine and crews had to set up ropes to get the victim out.
“It was probably about 30 feet from the lowest point to the highest point and it was a fairly steep incline up. There were a lot of downed trees and mulch,” said Kyle Ohashi, a spokesperson for the Puget Sound Fire Authority.
The pilot had a few broken bones and head injuries but was alert and could talk with first responders.
Crews wanted to transfer the pilot to an area to be airlifted, but due to weather conditions the pilot was transported to a trauma center in a medic unit.
The NTSB and FAA are scheduled to come to the scene as part of their investigation.
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