by Katherine Hamilton

ARCADIA, Fla. – A single engine plane crashed near SW County Road 760 in Arcadia on Tuesday, according to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.

The Beechcraft Bonanza crashed around noon in a field four miles southwest of the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] reported.

The pilot left the Arcadia Municipal Airport and hadn’t been in the air very long when his engine locked up, DeSoto County Public Safety Director Chad Jorgensen said. He was about 1,700 feet from the ground when he knew he needed to find a place to land.

“He did a very good job. His comment to me was ‘I wanted to make sure no one got hurt.’ He didn’t want to hurt anybody when he landed,” Jorgensen said.

The pilot was airlifted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

Even though he was injured, he was still able to help crews on scene shut down the rest of the plane.

“The plane landed without the gear down, so it was damaged to the front and both sides. We were concerned for a fuel leak. And we didn’t have fire hoses with us. We had walked an eighth of a mile to him back through the woods,” he said.

Jorgensen said no animals were injured in the crash either.

“In my humble opinion, he’s a very lucky man,” he said.

DCSO is working with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash.