Pilot injured in ultralight crash at Bagdad
BAGDAD - The pilot of a lightweight aircraft suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a crash at the airstrip in Bagdad just before noon Friday.
A report from Yavapai County Sheriff's Office indicates 79-year-old Donald Low, of Bagdad, was the only occupant. His right leg was injured in the crash, and responders flew him to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.
According to Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn, Low said he was taking off for a test flight when a gust of wind hit a strut and caused the wing to bend.
"He was unable to control the plane at that point and crashed," D'Evelyn said.
The aircraft was a home-built lightweight with a 35-horsepower engine and a single seat. The Federal Aviation Administration classifies it as a light-sport aircraft, which is subject to a more relaxed set of rules than commercially manufactured aircraft.
"The FAA does not investigate accidents involving these types of aircraft because you don't need a pilot license to fly one, and the aircraft does not require an FAA airworthiness certificate," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Any investigation of the crash will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Bagdad Airport is owned and managed by Yavapai County. According to FAA statistics, approximately 83 aircraft fly in or out of the airport each month.