Pilot crashes down in Delaware County

By Caroline Goggin

July 21, 2014 Updated Jul 22, 2014 at 9:27 AM EDT

Masonville, NY (WBNG Binghamton) David Rolfe left the Sidney airport Sunday night to go on a scenic trip.

The pilot left around 8:30 p.m. to go on a scenic trip. His trip was cut short when he landed a few miles away in the woods.

"He was about 2200 feet,” said New York State Police Senior Investigator, Michael Franz. “He suffered an updraft from a severe wind gust that drove his plane down to the point that he couldn't sustain air speed. At that point, he came into contact with the tree tops, and crashed into a wooded area.”

Action News trekked a half-mile into the woods Monday to see the aftermath of the crash.

The site was located near a swamp off of Thorpe Road, which is off of Route 8 in Masonville.

The owner of the property that housed the crash, Steven Anderson, heard and saw the situation unfolding.

"I heard a helicopter and I looked out the back door and it hovered probably 400 feet behind the house for about 15 minutes without moving," said Anderson.

When the one-seat plane finally moved, it landed deep in the woods.

The propeller broke, the pilot’s seat dug into the ground, and gauze pad wrappers cluttered the perimeter of the site.

The pilot was able to get up and walk around after the accident.

Law enforcement called said the situation could have been much worse.

"Everything's going to be cleaned up shortly,” added Franz. “We're anticipating a response from the FAA, if not a phone call, just so they can go over some of the stuff, that they have to do for their investigation."

Pilot Rolfe is currently being treated at Wilson Hospital in Johnson City. Hospital staff said Monday he is in fair condition.

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