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Pilot declared "hero" in crash near Racine, Wisconsin

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A pilot is being called a "hero" after a crash on Tuesday afternoon after supposedly making a last minute decision to crash into an empty field instead of a residential area near the airport.

The man from Highland Park was attempting to fly from Central Wisconsin to Waukegan in a Socata TBM 700 turbo-prop. However, the 76-year-old pilot began having trouble maintaining his altitude. He was attempting to make an emergency landing at Batten International Airport in Racine, Wisconsin, when the plane crashed.

According to media reports, the pilot, Philip Pines, realized he was about to crash into a residential area located near the airport. Instead, as the plane continued to crash, Pines directed the plane towards a field about 2.5 miles from the airport. That’s where the plane went down, and ended Pines’ life in the process.

Residents of the nearby residential area heard the impact and ran into the field to offer assistance. Reports are that they were trying to pound on the glass and open the doors of the plane to get at the pilot. Pines was reportedly unconscious, but still breathing, at least when those trying to help reached the plane.

The aircraft was split in two upon impact. He was the only occupant of the aircraft. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but he was declared dead shortly thereafter.

Local emergency officials are saying that the last act of the pilot in turning the plane away from the residential area makes Pines a hero. Currently the reasons for why the plane was struggling or what happened during the flight was unknown. The NTSB had now stepped in to investigate.

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