Plane crash pilot reportedly unconscious; heart rate & BP are st - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Plane crash pilot reportedly unconscious; heart rate & BP are stable

The small plane that went missing around 11 a.m. on Wednesday was found crashed in a wooded area two hours later. The small plane that went missing around 11 a.m. on Wednesday was found crashed in a wooded area two hours later.
A boater on the Hatchie River was flagged down by emergency personnel to take them across the river to the wreckage. A boater on the Hatchie River was flagged down by emergency personnel to take them across the river to the wreckage.
Kent Wingate, 62, was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition. Kent Wingate, 62, was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
According to our NBC affiliate, WDTN, Wingate lives in Xenia, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. He works at Sinclair Community College. According to our NBC affiliate, WDTN, Wingate lives in Xenia, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. He works at Sinclair Community College.
Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on their way to the crash site to investigate. Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on their way to the crash site to investigate.

(WMC) – The small plane that went missing around 11 a.m. on Wednesday was found crashed in a wooded area two hours later.

According to the Tipton County sheriff, the pilot's name is Kent Wingate, 62. Firefighters on the scene say Wingate was unconscious, but his heart rate and blood pressure were stable. He was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

"I really don't understand how he could survive something like that. People are resilient. It just wasn't his time," said pilot Ben Baker, who helped in the search.

Wingate and his Piper Archer single engine plane were found near the Hatchie River in Lauderdale County.

The plane went missing as it prepared to land at Covington Municipal Airport. The airport's manager said that Wingate told him he was out of fuel and was going to land the plane; it never landed.

Images from Chopper 5 show the plane wedged in thick trees about two miles north of the airport. The crash site was located by tracking the emergency signal being transmitted from the plane.

"It was so thick back there in the area of the backwater ... Some of the slews, the foliage really thick," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley.

A boater on the Hatchie River was flagged down by emergency personnel to take them across the river to the wreckage. 

Wingate was flying into town for a funeral. He retired from the United States Air Force where he was an aeronautical engineer.

According to our NBC affiliate, WDTN, Wingate lives in Xenia, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. He works at Sinclair Community College.

"Kent Wingate is the chair of the Aviation Technology department," Sinclair spokesman Adam Murka said in a written statement. "Sinclair officials have been in touch with Kent's family to offer our support and the entire Sinclair community will keep Kent and the Wingate family in our thoughts during this difficult time."

Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on their way to the crash site to investigate.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.  
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