Small plane crashes in Chautauqua County

SHERIDAN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Crews in Chautauqua county arrived on scene Thursday around 11:30 a.m. to respond to a small plane crash on Middle Rd., in the town of Sheridan.

“On departure, he had a mechanical malfunction of some sort,” says Deputy Kevin Link with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department. “He tried to get back to the airport, couldn’t make it and crashed.”

Link found the plane and its pilot, Francis Emmerling, 66, in a heavily-wooded area off of Waite Road.

“When I arrived I found a very scared gentleman,” says the Deputy.  “I believe it’s never easy to go through something like this.”

Deputy Link is a certified E.M.T. He assessed Emmerling after arriving to the scene.

“He had facial lacerations, some leg lacerations but no broken bones,” says Deputy Link.  “He was moving, conscious and alert saying he never lost consciousness.”

Deputy Link says Emmerling was friendly and willing to do anything Link asked of him. And it was Emmerling who told Link he would be able to walk the three-quarters of a mile from the scene to more open land where an ambulance and helicopter was waiting for him.

Following the crash, a 66-year-old pilot was flown via helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center. Officials say he walked out from the scene and was communicating with rescue workers. They don’t believe he had life threatening injuries.

Federal Aviation Authority officials arrived on scene later Thursday afternoon. The FAA and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department are both heading the investigation.

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