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Pilot uninjured in Woods Cross plane crash

By Stephanie Grimes and McKenzie Romero | Posted - Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:27pm

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WOODS CROSS &#8212 A small plane crash Monday at Skypark Airport left the pilot of the plane uninjured.

The pilot, a 63-year-old Andre Kostrzwa, was the only person on the single-engine plane, according to Jeff Bassett, deputy chief of South Davis Metro Fire.

Bassett said the plane flipped over while landing shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. A small fire ignited in the cockpit area, but was put out with a fire extinguisher by airport staff.

The pilot told police he was preparing to land but came in too low, Woods Cross Police Chief Greg Butler said. When the pilot took the plane back up, winds caught the craft and forced it to the east of the runway, where it crashed.

"I'll never give up, never give up. I love flying anyway."

"He was able to crawl out of the plane, and passers-by helped put the fire out," said Woods Cross Police Chief Greg Butler. "He's just incredibly fortunate to walk away from this."

KSL's Chopper 5 pilot Ben Tidswell watched the plane go down and was the first to rush to the pilot's aid.

"We're all kind of a bit of a fellowship really. You want to help out as best you can," said Tidswell. "My first instinct wasn't to hold back and wait for someone else to come, it was to get in there and make sure there wasn't anybody else inside the aircraft and make sure the gentleman who was hopping out was OK."

Butler said Kostrzwa has "many decades" of experience. 

Kostrzwa told people at the scene he had opened the hatch before impact, in case he needed to exit quickly. He also reported he sustained second-degree burns on his right leg as he escaped the fire.

Despite his frightening experience, Kostrzwa said he'd be returning to the cockpit soon.

"I'll never give up, never give up," he said. "I love flying anyway."

Contributing: Marc Giauque and Andrew Wittenberg


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