WICHITA, Kan. – Two teenagers were able to walk away from a rented airplane that one of them was piloting when it crashed onto a Kansas golf course, narrowly missing nearby homes.
A 17-year-old boy was flying the 1966 single-engine Mooney on Friday afternoon when it came down on the 14th hole at the Tallgrass Country Club, Wichita police said. An 18-year-old woman also was aboard.
Nikki Womack, who lives near the golf course, said she and her daughter saw the plane fly very low over their neighbor’s home before crashing on the golf course, The Wichita Eagle reported.
“I thought maybe it would flip, but it just hit real softly, pretty much,” Womack said. “It kind of bounced up” as it scraped through a sand trap and came to rest just short of the green. Womack dialed 911 as she ran outside to see if she could help.
The boy climbed out of the wreckage first and was bleeding from the top of his head, she said, followed by the woman who was bleeding and had an eye injury. She had both of them lay down before first responders arrived.
Marlene Wilcox, an operator at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, said Saturday that the woman was treated and released and the boy was listed in fair condition.
Wichita Police Lt. Paul Duff said the plane was on its way from Nashville, Tennessee, to Jabara Airport in Wichita, just northeast of the crash site.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating, Duff said.
The airplane is owned by Sabris Corp., whose owner, David Dewhirst, said it was one of his company’s rentals and was on approach for landing at Jabara.
“The report is he had an engine failure . and could not make it to the airport,” Dewhirst said. “But we’ve probably totaled an airplane.”
Golf course superintendent Mike Colestock said nobody was playing the 14th hole when the plane went down on the cold, wet and windy day.
“Nobody was around,” he said. “I’m glad we weren’t having a 75-degree day and golfers out here.”