FAA Safety Inspector Bruce Bolton was in Macon County early Monday morning, September 2, to talk to David Gregory after his plane crashed in a soybean field behind the Welcome Center, on Highway 52 By Pass West, around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
David and a passenger were in an experimental light sport airplane (The Drifter) when it went down. Fortunately he walked away unhurt and his passenger only suffered minor injures. She was treated at the local hospital.
Mr. Gregory told the Macon County Chronicle that he took off from the Lafayette Municipal Airport with a passenger and they were heading to Dale Hollow Lake to meet friends.
“Immediately after take off I experienced gusty winds and mechanical problems,” David said, when I talked with him on Monday morning. “I was attempting to circle back to the airport when I realized I couldn’t make it. I crash landed in the only bare spot in the soybean field which caused major damage to the aircraft.”
“I wasn’t hurt and thankfully my passenger only suffered minor injuries,” commented Gregory. “I am experienced in flying experimental aircraft and upon the hard landing I got my passenger to safety and secured the plane without spilling a drop of fuel or oil.”
David, who has been licensed to fly for 23 years, says that flying is still the safest way to travel. “I have wanted to fly since I was five-years-old,” he said. “This was an unfortunate event but we were both blessed to have walked away from it. I will be flying again!”
“I would like to thank the Macon County EMS, the first responders, Chris Payne, who took care of everything while I was at the hospital with my passenger, 911 Director Steve Jones and EMA Director Keith Scruggs,” said David. “They all did a wonderful job.”
EMA Director Scruggs said that it is rare that a aviation accident occurs in Macon County. “Our men were prepared, responded quickly and everything went off very well I thought,” said Scruggs. “I want to thank the Macon County EMS, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Lafayette Police Department, Macon County Rescue Squad, Lafayette Fire Department and 911 Director Steve Jones.”
“Thankfully David and his passenger are alright,” added Scruggs.