Pilot Suffers Severe Burns in Ultralight Aircraft Crash Near Liberty Landing Airport

The wreckage was discovered in a remote cornfield (photo Clay Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

Clay County, MO — Last night, an ultralight aircraft crash near Liberty Landing Airport left the pilot with severe burns, according to a press release from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The crash is currently under investigation by local authorities.

The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 7:29 p.m. about the incident involving a single pilot, the aircraft’s sole occupant. The plane departed from Liberty Landing Airport, a small airstrip between Liberty and Missouri City adjacent to the Missouri River.

Following the crash, the pilot escaped the burning wreckage and walked back to the airport. A bystander at the scene promptly called 911. Emergency medical services arrived, and the pilot was subsequently transported to the hospital with severe burns.

Finding the location of the crashed aircraft presented a challenge for the authorities. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and a helicopter from the Kansas City Missouri Police Department spent over an hour searching before locating the wrecked ultralight in a nearby cornfield. At the time of discovery, smoke was still emanating from the crash site. Firefighters from the Fishing River Fire District and the Liberty Fire Department were called to extinguish the flames.

Adjacent railroad tracks were closed temporarily during the investigation. Preliminary reports indicate that the tracks might have sustained damage due to the incident. The Sheriff’s Office announced that it would be handing over the investigation to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is expected to arrive today.

The pilot is in critical condition at an area hospital after escaping the fiery crash (photo Clay Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

According to an update from the Clay County Sheriff’s Department on Friday afternoon, the pilot remains in critical condition at an area burn center. Before being transported to the hospital, the pilot informed deputies that the aircraft caught fire while he was still in the air. This piece of information could be crucial for investigators as they attempt to understand the cause of the accident. The Sheriff’s Department also revealed that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has joined the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the investigation. Both agencies are currently on the scene, thoroughly examining the crashed aircraft and the surrounding area.

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