Pa. pilot escapes serious injury after crashing home-built plane

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A pilot crashed his home-built airplane in a cow pasture after suffering engine failure, but he walked away without serious injuries.
David Hanson was testing the aircraft when he experienced engine trouble just before 6 p.m. Sunday about five miles south of Capital City Airport. Realizing he wouldn't make it back to the airport, Hanson tried to land the plane on the hilly, rock-strewn field in Fairview Township, York County.
Hanson said he's not sure what happened once his wheels touched down.
"It was kind of fast. I was upside down a lot," he said.
The plane's fuselage was intact, but pieces of the plane -- known as a VariEze -- were scattered over 30 yards.
Hanson, 57, of Mechanicsburg, suffered just scrapes and bruises.
"I am OK. I'm fine. I am just kind of bummed out because I spent two years building the plane," he said. "I am glad to be alive. As you can see, I probably shouldn't be."
He said he has flown experimental aircraft for seven years and that this was the second plane he had built. He said he has logged 300 to 350 hours in similar planes, including about 30 hours in the one that crashed.
"They are a beautiful plane to fly. They fly very well. I guess they crash very well, too," Hanson said.

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