Small Plane Crash Critically Injures Pilot, Authorities Say

ELIZABETH, Pa. (AP) — A small plane crashed into a wooded area of western Pennsylvania, critically injuring the pilot, authorities said.

Authorities in Allegheny County and federal officials said the single-engine Aeronica 7 Champion aircraft went down in Elizabeth Township less than a mile from Rostraver Airport shortly before 7 p.m. Friday.

Chief Ken Honick of the township's police force said the pilot was flown to Allegheny General Hospital in critical condition. He said the pilot was conscious, alert and talking to first responders as he was transported but was “in excruciating pain as you can imagine.”

Honick said the pilot left Finleyville airport in northern Washington County and stopped in Rostraver Airport “for some touch-and-go maneuvers." Finleyville airport manager Robert Usnick said the pilot had recently purchased the older plane and it is normal procedure to practice landing and taking off when a pilot purchases a different plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.