May 3, 2009

Portable toilets help pilot survive crash

A pilot walked away from a crash landing in Washington state when a field full of portable toilets cushioned the impact on the ground for his small plane.

The 67-year-old pilot, whose name was not reported, had just taken off from Pierce County-Thun Field at 3:20 p.m. PDT Friday when his engine stopped, The Tacoma News-Tribune reported Saturday. He was alone in the 1982 Cessna.

The plane took off, he got about 150 feet in the air and his engine quit running, Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, said. He tried to turn around and come back and land, but he didn't quite make it.

The plane hit a fence and landed upside down in the field next to the runway where Northwest Cascade had stored the portable toilets.

The Honey Buckets kind of cushioned things, a Northwest Cascade worker who did not want to be named told the News-Tribune.