UPDATE: (5:07 p.m.): When the call came out of a plane crash in the heavily wooded area of Baldwin County in the Gateswood community, the rush was on to help. But getting to the pilots and the crash site, which were three miles apart, proved to be the challenge.
Larry Murphy was home watching TV when he heard a noise.
“I heard it go down and like say I thought they were dumping a big load of lumber, trusses or something,” said Murphy. “It was just a boom.”
He didn’t think anything of it until he got a phone call from one of the volunteer fire departments that needed his help.
“They needed to get to where the pilots parachuted out and they didn’t know how to get back in there,” he said. So he jumped on his ATV and drove them right to the spot.
“They doing fine,” he said after giving the pilots a ride to the ambulance. “There’s nothing wrong with them, they good.”
Three miles away, just north of Interstate 10 and near the Styx River, the T6 Turboprop erupted in flames on impact. One man who saw the crash site but didn’t want to be identified said there was very little left of the aircraft.
“It cut off all the tops of the pine trees and then it landed,” he said. “There’s a big burn area but there’s really not much left of the plane. If you didn’t know it was a plane you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it was a plane. There are a few orange pieces and white pieces.”
Navy personnel are on-site and have taken over the investigation. Two black boxes have been recovered and will hopefully provide the information needed to determine what went wrong.
UPDATE: The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that both pilots were rescued and taken to a local hospital for treatment. The pilots were found in an area away from the crash site, one of several scenes being investigated.
“Two pilots had to eject, parachutes deployed,” said Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack. “Pilots do not have serious injuries but are being taken to be evaluated.”
Two black boxes were found along with plane debris in a local’s yard.
USNI News reports that the two-seat T-6B Texan II flew from Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida and went down near Gateswood, Ala., about 45 miles away. Both pilots ejected from the plane.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A T6 fixed-wing trainer out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field crashed in the Gateswood Community off County Road 87 in Baldwin County Tuesday morning. Several agencies, including the Navy, responded to the scene.
NAS Whiting Field has made contact with the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency, which has responded to the scene, along with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, Gateswood Volunteer Fire Department, and Robertsdale Fire Department.
Two parachutes were reported. Condition of the pilots as yet is unknown.
This is a developing story. WKRG News 5 will continue to update you online and on-air as we learn more.