LEE, N.Y. (UPDATED) – A man is in stable condition after crashing an ultralight plane into an unoccupied building at E. Centro International Air Park in the town of Lee Monday morning.
The Lee Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies, and state police responded to the private air park, located at 4931 Lee Valley Road, just after 8:30 a.m.
Police say 66-year-old Ronald S. Richards Jr., of Blossvale, was taken to Upstate University Hospital by Mercy Flight around 9:30 a.m. to be treated for leg injuries.
State Police said Richards was practicing to land when the crash happened.
"He was trying to land it looks like. Again we are looking in to see if speed was a factor. At one point he clips a sign and loses control and we are trying to determine if he lost power," said Trooper Jack Keller.
Eric Centro who owns the property said Richards is a good friend and saw as he came into land, but he was too low.
"What happened was he was coming in too low and I heard him hit the throttle. It was a little too late and so he hit the building." said Centro.
Centro said the aircraft crashed into his private saloon in front of the runway. Centro said the aircraft is destroyed and the saloon is damaged but is thankful his friend is alive.
"It's damaged but it's fixable. He's alive and we will fix the saloon. I don't get worked up over stuff. What are you going to do you cant change the world," said Centro.
No one else was injured during the incident.
— Brent Kearney (@BKearneyWKTV) June 22, 2020