Plane crash lands at local airport

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A few tense moments at a local airport Friday after a crash landing caused some commotion.

"I was sitting out in the truck trying to make something for my partner and a plane flew in," witness Jacob Castille said.

While working on a new plane hanger Friday morning at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, Castille said he saw something unusual.

"I guess the wind caught the tail [of the plane] and it just flipped over onto the front," Castille said.

What he saw was a Cessna 185 plane crash landing on the airport's runway.

"Well, we had a little incident involving a small aircraft on landing. We've got a little bit of gusty wind and the plane had a little trouble navigating the wind on touchdown," Deputy Executive Director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Richard McConnell said.

According to airport officials, a side wind on the runway caused the pilot to have a difficult time sticking his landing.

"It's a tail dragger and it is... sometimes they get a little difficult to navigate when you're in the wind," McConnel explained.

"I've never seen that before so it was kind of something new," Castille said. "It was scary."

Witnesses said the crash was not like one would expect.

"It happened really slow actually, surprisingly for as fast as a plane would go. It really flipped over kinda slow," Castille described. 'You didn't really hear that much like it wasn't really that loud. It was actually kinda quiet. I mainly just looked over and just happened to catch a glimpse of a white airplane just flipping over."

"It's something that's not overly common, but it is something we prepare for and you can see the staff, the fire department, were very capable, very ready to respond," McConnell said.

Airport officials said the only passenger, the pilot, was not injured in the crash.

They have since cleared the runway and it is back up and running.