A plane crashed into a house in Alpine on Saturday morning. The pilot walked away from the crash and was not seriously injured; neither was anyone on the ground. The accident occurred on West Fort Davis Avenue, south of the Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport.
According to Roger Beasley, an airport official, the crash occurred around 8:15 AM after the pilot, Jim Belcher, experienced engine failure. Beasley said Belcher made the plane himself. “It’s a kit plane.”
Eyewitness Will Baker was outside his house when he heard the plane sputter and choke. “I saw it go down,” he said. It seemed to Baker that the pilot responded to his engine power loss by turning his plane toward an empty field. But without power and without much gliding ability, he never made it there.
“He lost 100 feet,” said Baker, “the bottom just fell out. His fixed landing gear caught these internet and telephone wires, and he went nose down. Then, kaboom, I heard the crash.”
“There’s a plane in my front yard,” Mack Waters told Baker. Another neighbor, Rusty Hill, spoke with the pilot, who said his “engine just quit.”
According to Belcher’s family, he suffered “minor scrapes and bruises” and later went to Big Bend Regional Hospital for care.
“He’s smiling now,” said Beasley about the pilot. “He wants everyone to know that he’s alright.”
The Alpine Police Department has opened an investigation, along with the Federal Aviation Administration.