A small plane crashed and burst into flames on a Texas road after clipping an 18-wheeler transporting mattresses — but the pilot miraculously escaped unharmed, authorities said.
The heart-pounding incident happened around 11:15 a.m. Sunday when the pilot reported losing engine power while flying a survey assignment from the West Houston Airport, local outlet KTRK reported.
The aviator attempted to land the Bonanza 35 single-engine plane on state Highway 99 in Cypress Rosehill.
“I’m going to try to bring it in over the road and land with traffic,” the pilot was heard saying in a recorded live air traffic control (ATC) communication obtained by KHOU11.
Department of Public Safety spokesperson officer Richard Standifer said the pilot reported that he apparently grazed the top of a semi-truck hauling TempurPedic-brand mattresses, before he managed to set the single-engine plane down.
The wing of the aircraft then caught the concrete barrier in the middle of the road, causing it to catch fire, the officer added.
Video posted online by the station showed the white aircraft lying on the pavement with smoke pouring from the wreck and flames engulfing the tip of the left wing.
“Not good. They’re on big fire. Big time. Emergency services now as fast as you can,” a dispatcher says on ATC communications.
Neither the pilot nor the driver of the truck was injured in the incident, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash.