by: staff, Jacqueline Francis

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A pilot survived after a small airplane crashed in a wooded area in Grand Haven Township Tuesday afternoon, deputies say.

It happened around 3:50 p.m. near 160th Avenue and Ferris Street.

Investigators say the pilot, a 52-year-old man from Marne, was taking off from the Grand Haven Memorial Airport, planning to go to Muskegon.

The plane experienced engine issues, so the pilot tried to return to the airport. He didn’t make it back to the airport and crashed in a wooded area on a private property.

The owners of the property where inside their house at the time of the crash.

“It’s not something that happens every day when you have an airplane crash into your woods,” Maryjane Belter said.

Belter and her husband said they noticed a shadow come over their house, followed by an unusual noise.

“We heard this noise that sounded like … a lot of snow and ice falling off your roof and crashing to the ground,” Belter said.

When they looked to see what had happened, first responders were already on scene huddled around the crash.

“I could see the tail of the plane sticking up through the trees,” Belter said.

Authorities say the pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to be OK. There were no passengers on board.

Authorities are investigating the crash.