Plane crashes into BMW: ‘Out of the corner of my eye I saw a plane coming at me’

WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County — A small plane crashed onto Spring Valley Pike at Yankee Street Thursday afternoon and slammed into a BMW at the busy residential intersection.

  • Small plane crashes around 4 p.m. in Washington Twp.
  • Aircraft strikes the back of a BMW at Spring Valley Pike/Yankee Street
  • Two aboard plane were walking after crash, BMW driver not hurt
  • Plane was headed to Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Miami Twp.
  • Piper PA-28 was registered Wednesday to GC Aviation Services-1 LLC

The fixed-wing single-engine Piper PA-28 left the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in the morning for Michigan and was headed back to the Miami Twp. airport with two pilots aboard — one with a commercial pilot license and a second with a private pilot license —when the aircraft around 4 p.m. experienced engine trouble, Sgt. Jeff Kramer of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post said.

The private pilot was flying the plane when the engine issues began, and then the commercial pilot took control, Kramer said.

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The pilot was aiming to land in a nearby cornfield, but the plane was too low to make it over high tension wires so they touched down on West Spring Valley Pike and struck the car at the Yankee Street intersection in Washington Twp. about two miles from the airport.

Both pilots — a Beavercreek woman and a Miamisburg woman — were taken to a local hospital and were still there Thursday evening. Their injuries were not believed to be serious, Kramer said.

News Center 7's Sean Cudahy spoke to the BMW driver, who said he did not want his name released just yet because he hadn't been able to reach his wife. He said he is OK but "a little wound up." He detailed what happened around 4 p.m. while he was returning home from running errands.

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“I was just driving down Yankee, north on Yankee going toward Spring Valley and I got almost in the intersection or slightly in the intersection and out of the corner of my eye I saw a plane coming at me from Spring Valley, from the west of Spring Valley,” he said. “I didn’t have much of a chance to react or get out of the way and the next thing I knew the thing hit me, hit the rear of the car and spun me around.”

He said he had to process that it really was a small plane that hit him.

“I sat there a few minutes after I got hit, and thinking ‘OK toes move, feet move, arms move, legs move, seem to be OK.’”

Witnesses and the pilot were among people who came up to his car to check on him, he said.

The plane had to be low at the point of impact because it did not hit the light, he said.

He said he thinks he is OK, but “a little shook up. Not everyday you get hit by a plane.”

A second car was just inches from striking the aircraft’s right wing, and it was remarkable that there were no serious injuries or more vehicles involved in the crash, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Haines said.

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Federal Aviation Administration investigators said they are on the way and released a statement Thursday evening that the agency did not yet have information on the origin of the flight of the plane that “crashed under unknown circumstances into a vehicle while on approach to land at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport located in Montgomery County south of Dayton.”

The FAA website shows that the 1979 Piper aircraft that crashed was registered Wednesday, and that the certificate was issued to GC Aviation Services-1 LLC, 10600 Springboro Pike in Miamisburg. The company has 13 other small planes, all of which were registered Wednesday and nine that were flown Thursday, FAA records show.

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