By Lowell Rose Le Roy
The LeRoy Airport runway was shut down temporarily Sunday afternoon, as emergency crews responded to a small plane crash. The sheriff’s office says injuries are believed to be minor for the four occupants.
The owner of the LeRoy Airport, Raymond Detor, says the plane crash happened around 3:15 p.m. A single-engine plane was taking off from the airport when it crashed during takeoff.
The aircraft stayed on airport property and landed within a few yards from a mobile home park on the western side of the runway. Airport officials say four people were injured and taken to the hospital and their current condition has yet to be updated.
The sheriff’s office says John Yates, 48, of Canandaigua, New York, was the pilot. All passengers were self-extricated they say. It is believed the plane failed to take off and hit an “earth embankment.”
A neighbor spoke with Spectrum News about what he saw moments after the crash.
“I was sitting in my living room watching the Buffalo Bills game and I heard a bang,” said Donald Showler, of LeRoy. “I thought maybe it was my porch and I saw an airplane out here in the airport, [with] the motor about 40 feet in front of it, and people starting to get out of the plane. [I yelled at my wife to call 911].”
Showler says within five minutes of the call, fire and rescue crews were on the scene assisting those on board the plane. There’s no word on what caused the crash, but Spectrum News has been told the Federal Aviation Administration will be arriving sometime this week to investigate.
The airport owner says the last time a plane crashed in the area was about 10 years ago. The airport has since reopened and the incident remains under investigation.