Brevard Plane Crash
Brevard police received the emergency call of a plane crash at 4:32pm Thursday. The pilot, 44-year-old pilot John Secord knows he's lucky to be alive. Brevard police say Secord nosed his Cessna 182P single propellor plane into an empty soccer field in front of Brevard elementary.
"He did an awesome job landing the plane in a safe manner away from everyone," said Deputy Chief Shawn Miller, Brevard Police. Secord walked away from the crash with scrapes. He was reluctant to have his name released to the media due to his father's once high profile name in the military. The plane is registered to his father, retired Military General Richard Secord. Secord was a former high ranking defense official known for his involvement in the Iran Contra scandal in the 80s. Police say his son Secord said he also served in the air force and was a skilled pilot. He reported engine trouble after departing from Atlanta and heading north to Roanoke to his nephew's graduation.
"At 4:28pm he put in a distress call to Asheville International's airport tower," said Chief Miller. Secord was at flying at ten thousand feet but was losing engine power. He initially wanted to try and land at Transylvania County's regional airport but it was an additional five miles away and Chief Miller said he didn't think the plane could maintain altitude. Initially Secord looked to use an old airstrip across the street from the elementary school but there were people baling hay and driving in the strip. Secord managed to pilot the plane avoiding an apartment complex and landing nose first into the grass.
"He said his training kicked in," said Chief Miller. Pilots he said are trained to nose down during an emergency landing to reduce any additional damage that could occur on impact. The plane lost it's front landing wheel as it skirted up the grass and came to a stop just feet from the elementary school. No children were in the immediate area at the time of the crash.
The FAA will come to the scene Friday to complete a full investigation.
By Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @kimkingreports