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    Plane clips woman's house before crash in Hot Springs

    11:44 PM, Aug 5, 2011   |    comments
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    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- A small plane crashed in a Hot Springs neighborhood Friday afternoon. There were no passengers and the pilot was not hurt.

    The plane crashed in the 700 block on Main Street after taking off from the Hot Springs Airport. The plane clipped a woman's house. No details have been released yet on the cause of the crash.

    The single-engine plane was contracted from Western Pilot to fly a load of water to a fire in Nashville, Ark. Western Pilot has now grounded all single enngine planes they fly through at least, Saturday, which may pose a problem for firefighters.

    Residents say it wasn't a loud noise -- but when they looked outside of their homes -- the found a plane in the middle of the street.

    "All I heard was something I thought a trash can got hit."
    It's not a sight you see every day -- unless you're Michael Weatherford. "My house I used to live in actual plane engine fell through the roof."

    But even with that happening to him -- seeing a single engine plane in the middle of a residential neighborhood -- is out of the ordinary.

    "This will be one of the craziest short of it actually landing on my house."

    For Pauline Howard-- the sound of the crash startled her. "I ran outside immediately looking for my to find there was a thick cloud of smoke."

    She ran to see what it was -- that's when she was shocked what happened next. "Next thing I know I saw the pilot coming out of the wreckage and he told everybody to get back there's extreme fumes coming out and to call 911."

    "This particular plane was taking off with a load of water from the Hot Springs Airport to do a water drop on a fire in Howard County," says Christina Fowler.

    Fowler with the Arkansas Forestry Commission says the pilot --Mark Harting -- has been fighting fires from the sky for two years. "These planes are used to go out in front of the fire and drop the water -- slow it down enough to make it safe enough for the fire crews on the ground."

    The plane clipped this home on Main Street and crashed into a yard then skid into the intersection.

    The amazing part about the whole ordeal -- the pilot is ok.
    Fowler says this is one of three planes that the forestry commission contract's to fight fires.

    Because of this crash they have grounded the others until the FAA investigation is complete.

    The forestry service says they'll be getting help from the state to fight fires since the planes are being grounded.

    They'll be using National Guard black hawks to help fight the more than 20 wildfires going on throughout the state. 

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