TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - It was a close call for a Columbus pilot flying into the Tupelo Airport.
Fred Newman was flying his A-36 Beech Aircraft when he crash-landed about 2,000 feet short of the runway.
The pilot glided through Tupelo's Buffalo Park, crashed through a fence, bounced off a road over another fence and finally landed on airport property.
Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson said emergency personnel were on the scene immediately and the relief went according to plan.
"Everybody knew exactly what needed to be done," Abramson said. "The pieces all came together, and we responded real well to the accident."
According to Abramson, the pilot was able to walk away from the scene and was transported by ambulance to North Mississippi Medical Center.
He said having the Buffalo Park located near the landing strip helps in this type of situation.
"You don't want homes," he explained. "You don't want populated areas. You don't have daycares. You have good, open space, like a park."
In fact, he said without the park, the outcome may have been different.
"If there were trees there or a building, we may have not had as a successful recovery of the pilot as we did," Abramson said.
It took workers nearly three hours to remove the plane. Abramson said the entire cleanup was a group effort involving multiple Tupelo agencies.
"Everybody came together," he said. "It was great teamwork. It was a successful recovery, and I'm just thankful for all the team players with Tupelo."
A spokesperson with North Mississippi Medical Center confirmed the pilot is in good condition and was released from the hospital shortly after being admitted.