The pilot and passenger of a small plane that crashed in Nelson’s Wholesale Club parking lot at about 9 a.m. Monday were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“Preliminary findings suggest the plane was attempting to land when a wind gust caused the plane to be drawn away from the runway and coming to rest in the parking lot of 402 Lakeside Drive,” a news release from the Nelson Police Department states.

Michael Normington of Nelson saw it happen.

Walking from the neighbouring gas station across the parking lot toward the Wholesale Club, he said he noticed a plane in the process of landing on the runway across Lakeside Drive from the parking lot, and he felt a powerful gust of wind.

“The next thing I hear is the engine roar, and the plane just turned sideways and came over this way. The left wing tip hit the fence [between the airport runway and Lakeside Drive].

“Then still going sideways it missed a white Dodge car [in the parking lot], then hit the ground hard. The wheels fell off and then the rest came to a sliding halt.”

Normington said he ran to the plane where the pilot and a passenger were dragging themselves out. An ambulance arrived shortly after.

Although the store was open, there were few cars in the lot.

“Lucky there were not more cars parked there because he would have gone straight into them,” Normington said.

Staff at the Wholesale Club declined to comment.