Pilot in weekend plane crash talks to Channel 3
Story by Kay Blevins
Eyewitness News Reporter
HIXSON, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB)-- A young pilot who crashed his plane is talking about the incident.
He crashed at the Skypark in Hixson over the weekend.
Eighteen-year-old Ben Rodgers and his friend Hannah Waters say it's an experience they won't soon forget.
Rodgers is only licensed to fly solo and would not talk about why he had a passenger on board.
"I was screaming, definitely screaming and shouting and then once I realized we were going to crash I honestly thought we were done for," says Hannah Waters.
Luckily, 18-year-old Hannah Waters is ok.
Waters was riding with her friend Ben Rodgers, who is student pilot at a Hixson flight school, when they crashed Saturday night at Skypark.
"He did a look around to look at this and then he came down to land and I took cover and it just ran into the building," says Waters.
Ben is not a licensed pilot yet.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, no one who is a student pilot is allowed to have passengers on board, something the FAA will now look into.
"It was certainly an error in judgement in what he did," says Mark Winton.
Mark Winton owns the Cessna Ben crashed and operates the flight school in Hixson where the student pilot attended.
"It was a mistake, it was poor judgement. Would I ever let him fly an airplane again? Yeah," says Winton.
Ben didn't want to talk about the details of crash this Monday afternoon but did tell us he was healing from his injuries.
"I am healing but mentally it's tough, it's just about getting back out there and flying again," says Ben Rodgers.
Hannah Waters wasn't injured in the crash.
We tried to talk to FAA investigators but they said their investigation was on-going.