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Small plane crash-lands in field off Athens Highway; pilot suffers minor injuries
Jacksonville man says mechanical trouble brought him down near school
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This small plane crash-landed in a field off Athens Highway in eastern Hall County on Friday. The pilot suffered minor injuries. - photo by David Barnes

Sol Williams didn’t want to land his plane in the middle of the busy Athens Highway at rush hour Friday afternoon, aiming toward the open pasture across from Sugar Hill Elementary School.

“I was trying to make it to the airport. I wanted to land on blacktop instead of a field, but I was getting less and less altitude, so I had to look for the best place to put her down at,” he said.

Hall County Fire Services Capt. Zachary Brackett said the pilot suffered only minor injuries, and the plane did not seem to be severely damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified, but did not respond to the scene.

Williams said he believes his fuel mixture cable may have broken, which led him to make the emergency landing.

The Jacksonville man “got out of it and walked up to a guy and asked, ‘Where am I?’”

Mathew Smith was walking the dogs at his sister’s house when the landing happened before 4 p.m.

“I heard a plane, turned around and looked and he was coming down in the field,” Smith said.

One of the first things Williams did was call his sister, Janita Mastin, who was tending to patients at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Her co-workers plugged the address into the GPS after she got the details from the landowner.

Her first question: Are you OK?

“It was good to see, give him a hug, let him know that him being alive is the most important,” she said. “The plane, you know, is just another object that can be replaced.”

Mastin said she and Williams are now trying to figure out how to tow the plane and help him get back to Jacksonville.

“I’m definitely in for a road trip,” she said.

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