EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- A 1946 Piper J3C65 airplane went down on the banks of the San Jacinto River near the end of Old Houston Road in far southeast Montgomery County around 7:30 Sunday night. Multiple agencies and civilians joined in the rescue effort.
A 44-year-old pilot and his 11-year-old son were aboard the plane, which departed from Williams Field in Porter. Witnesses reported the crash and dispatchers sent firefighters, medics and law enforcement.
Porter Fire Chief Jody Binnion said the aircraft was apparently flying too low and snagged a cable that was about an inch in diameter stretching across the river, which caused the plane to flip and land upside down.
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The man was transported by ground ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands and his son was flown by medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Both suffered facial lacerations and the boy was reportedly complaining of leg pain when he was rescued. The PHI Air Medical helicopter landed on the scene to transport the boy.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts heard the dispatch on his county radio and responded to the scene with his Arctic Cat Prowler UTV, which was used to transport exhausted firefighters from the sandy riverbank back to the road, which was about one-third of a mile. Metts was accompanied by Pct. 4 Lt. Mark Seals, who was off-duty, but also went to see if he could do something to help.
Metts said he was impressed with the collaborative efforts of all of the agencies present, along with civilians, such as some local wrecker drivers, who also offered their services and any equipment they had to assist in the rescue.
Agencies involved included the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, the Houston Police Department, Porter Fire Department, New Caney Fire Department and South Montgomery County Fire Department.
Sunday night’s crash was far from the first to occur in East Montgomery County. It was not even the first year. In February when a twin-engine plane went down in a yard on Holly Street near Youpon Street in Porter, as it approached the airstrip at Williams Airport off of FM 1314. A couple from the Austin area died in that crash.
Prior aircraft crashes in Montgomery County:
* On Feb. 12, 2009, a private plane crashed into a yard on Holly Street near Williams Field, killing both occupants.
* On April 6, 2008, a 1968 fixed-wing single-engine Cessna was landing on the airstrip at Williams Airport when the plane suddenly veered off into the grass and flip, leaving a 60 foot trail of skid marks. Fuel was spilled, but did not ignite and the pilot walked away unharmed.
* On Oct. 18, 2007, a small experimental aircraft crashed into a hayfield in West Montgomery County with three people aboard. The plane was a total loss, but the pilot and two passengers walked away.
* On Sept. 7, 2006, a small plane crash landed in a neighborhood near Lone Star Airport after the plane’s engine died about 300 feet off the ground. The pilot and a passenger were uninjured.
* On Sept. 15, 2005, a single engine Cessna occupied by a pilot and two passengers left Williams Airport in Porter and crashed into a wooded area in Liberty County killing everyone onboard. The trio was en route to a hunting club near Plum Grove.
* On June 9, 2005, a twin-engine plane crashed into a home on Jeffcoate Road in East Montgomery County, killing the pilot who was a flight instructor.
* On Dec. 7, 2004, a military training aircraft crashed into the Sam Houston National Forest, killing the pilot and a passenger.