A Faulkner County man was injured Saturday afternoon when his Cessna crashed in a field near Mayflower.
Merrel Blalock, 42, a pilot and certified aircraft mechanic, was taking off
from a field on Easterwood Point Road a few miles west of Mayflower.
According to witnesses, Blalock was circling the field immediately after
takeoff when his Cessna 150's engine seemed to malfunction.
Sgt. Dalton Elliott of the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office said witness
testimony indicates that Blalock was attempting to glide back to land in the field when his aircraft clipped a tree along Easterwood Point Road. The Cessna impacted the roadway and went through a barbed wire fence, coming to rest at the edge of the field.
Blalock wasn't carrying any passengers.
The impact broke the fuselage in half and ripped the wing off the aircraft.
Mayflower Fire Chief Carl Rossini, one of the first on the scene, found
Blalock conscious and alert inside the twisted cockpit. He was complaining of pain in his lower back, Rossini said, but was able to move his lower extremities.
"We werent going to try to let him walk away from it," Rossini said to a
concerned neighbor at the scene.
Emergency workers stabilized Blalock and prepared him for air evacuation to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Baptist Health personnel wouldnt comment on his condition Saturday night.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators were at the scene reviewing the crash Saturday night.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)