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Editor’s note: The Lancaster News incorrectly reported in the Friday, April 19, 2013, edition that workers freed the airplane from the trees where it crashed on Thursday, April 18. It wasn’t the plane, but pilot Jerry Wiese, who was freed from his perch.
Teddy Moore has seen his share of emergencies, but he’s never been involved in an emergency situation like the airplane crash he responded to Thursday, April 18.
Moore, a construction supervisor with Comporium Communications, was called to the scene because county emergency personnel needed help reaching the pilot, whose small plane was lodged between two trees near Shiloh Unity Road.
Between 2 and 2:15 p.m. Thursday, a Cessna 140 single-engine airplane crashed in a wooded area not far from a private landing strip.
The incident location was listed at 3108 Shiloh Unity Road in a Lancaster County Sheriff's Office report.
Emergency personnel contacted Comporium officials, who provided a bucket truck to help free the pilot. He was reportedly about 30 feet off the ground.
Moore said the Comporium crew had to cut about 50 yards into the woods and knock down some small trees in order to get the bucket truck through. When they reached the pilot, about 20 emergency officials were already on scene, he said.
The Comporium crew operated the bucket truck remotely from the ground. One of the crew members went up first to ensure they could reach the pilot – Jerry Wiese, a 79-year-old Monroe, N.C., resident, according to the incident report.
Wiese was the only person in the plane. He did not return phone messages Friday.
Moore said it was about 5 p.m. when the Comporium crew left the scene, following Wiese’s rescue.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, though, the plane remained lodged.
“He's very grateful for all the help from the fire and rescue (personnel) and everybody else who came out,” Moore said.
Moore said prior to Thursday, the only emergency situations he had ever assisted with through Comporium were car crashes and other events that involved utility poles.
“It was an interesting day at the office,” Moore said of Thursday. “This was a very unique situation.”
Stephen Blackwelder, a spokesman for Lancaster County Emergency Management, said no one was injured in the plane crash.
“We did get the guy down safety,” Blackwelder said. “He was not even transported by EMS. He is fine.”
Blackwelder said the case has been turned over the Federal Aviation Administration, which investigates plane crashes.
Information on what caused the crash was unavailable Friday.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152