An airplane that was forced off its original course by bad weather struck a house during an apparent landing at Swanson Field in Eatonville Thursday evening, resulting in minor injuries to the plane’s occupants.
The private aircraft, a single-engine Cessna, may have developed mechanical problems that led to the mishap, according to unconfirmed reports. National Transportation Safety Board officials reportedly were notified of the crash and will conduct an investigation.
No one was in the house when the crash occurred.
The pilot and one passenger, both men in their 30s, told authorities that they were flying from Oregon to Seattle to attend a convention when they diverted the flight to avoid bad weather, according to Eatonville Fire and Rescue chief Bob Hudspeth.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the plane was circling the airstrip or attempting to land, but it clipped some trees, touched down and then skidded across a yard and into a corner of the house, Hudspeth said.
He said the men suffered minor injuries, but the plane was heavily damaged and was described by Hudspeth as a total loss. He said there was relatively little damage to the house, which is near the runway and is occupied by Sharon Burlingame, the widow of Hal Burlingame, a pilot and former manager of Swanson Field. She was gone at the time of the crash but returned home about three hours after it happened, authorities said. A firefighter escorted her into the house to check for damage.