‘We were afraid it could blow up’: Man helps pull pilot out of plane wreck in Auburn

AUBURN, Wash. — A man told KIRO 7 he helped pull a pilot out of a small plane wreck near a busy road in Auburn.


A spokesperson for the Auburn Police Department told KIRO 7 that the plane lost power shortly after taking off from the Auburn Municipal Airport Tuesday morning.

The plane crashed into a chain link fence, connected to Herc Rentals ProSolutions, and near the intersection of Auburn Way North and 40th Street Northeast.

The plane was a single-engine Sonex, according to an official with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Police said the pilot did not suffer any serious injuries.

The first call about the incident came in at 11:33 a.m.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating this incident.

Crews were able to clear the scene at about 2:30 p.m.


KIRO 7 spoke with Anatoly Kalchik, who was driving to work on Auburn Way North, on Tuesday morning.

He said the plane was flying towards him right before it crashed.

“I was shocked. I was shocked.” He added, “I was driving the car and saw the plane fly toward me.”

“I see that he was trying to land on the opposite lane, and he probably seen the cars driving on the road and probably did a sharp turn and fell upside down,” he added.

Kalchik said he rushed over to help the pilot and saw what appeared to be gasoline leaking from the plane.

“We were afraid it could blow up.” He added, “I was kind of afraid it could burst into flames.”

Kalchik said he and four other people pulled the pilot out of the plane wreck where the pilot was able to lie down and recover.

“I just wanted to make sure he was okay, he’s not hurt, he’s still alive,” Kalchik said.

“I asked him how he feels. He said ‘a little pain in his back.’ But otherwise, he was conscious all the time. He was talking. He even walked from the airplane.” He added, “I’m just glad he’s alive. I’m glad nobody is hurt. He didn’t hit any cars.”

Kalchik said he believes the pilot took a sharp turn before the crash to avoid hitting drivers on the road.

The plane crashed upside down, with one wing on the ground and the other wing leaning against the chain link fence.

Kalchik said he believes the fence possibly saved his life.

“I’m glad the plane didn’t hit the ground upside down because if he would, he would probably break his neck and die,” he said. “One wing rested on the ground and another on the fence. That saved his life I believe.”


KIRO 7 also spoke with people who were in the area and saw the aftermath of the crash.

A. Long said she had been cleaning her car at the Brown Bear Car Wash when she heard a loud boom across the street.

She initially thought the sound came from a car crash but looked over and saw a plane.

“That’s the tail of an actual plane, so I’m like this is not a car crash,” she said. “And all of a sudden, all of the police, everyone is rushing. Is the person okay? Are they alright? But yeah, when I saw the taillight, it’s very close to the Brown Bear and everything so I was like that could have been bad for anybody who was a part of it.”

Rameilo Roland, who works in the area, was shocked.

“Shocked and astonished that it even happened,” said Roland. “To see it tipped over on its back is ferocious almost.”

He said the crash could have been much worse.

“It could have hit a bus with a lot of people on it. It could have hit a box truck with me and my coworkers on it. It’s definitely a tragedy,” he said.