Small plane crash in St. Louis subdivision hurts pilot

Thursday, December 28, 2006

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After delivering parcels in Little Rock, Ark., a pilot of a small plane survived after crash landing in a suburban neighborhood north of St. Louis.

Greg Chatten, a pilot with St. Charles Flying Service, miscalculated the amount of fuel left in a Cessna Turbo 210 before he took off from the St. Louis Downtown Airport, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Chatten was apparently heading toward his home base in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday when he crashed. He steered the plane into the front yard of a large home and only suffered a broken leg.

Chatten miscalculated the amount of fuel in the plane before he took off, said St. Charles Flying Service President Dennis Bampton.

"He was very upset at himself," Bampton said. "He didn't realize how long he had been flying. He just screwed up."

The St. Charles Flying service, with 26 planes, mostly delivers time-sensitive freight such as medical supplies and bank documents.

Neighbors in the subdivision where Chatten crashed said they felt lucky the accident wasn't worse.

"By God's grace, he missed the electrical lines, all the houses and the trees," said Pat Drury, who lives near the crash site. "He must be a pretty good pilot."

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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