Here's a quoted version of the story for all you work firewall people!
VAIL, Colo. -- A small single-engine plane from Wyoming crashed on Vail Pass Friday morning, sending two people to the hospital, authorities said.
The Piper Cherokee Six narrowly missed a motorcycle on Interstate 70 as it bounced off the interstate and then crashed into a hillside about 25 feet away from I-70, at mile marker 186, said Suzanne Silverthorn, a spokeswoman for the town of Vail.
Plane passenger John Clark, of Green River, Wyo., said his back was in a brace, his jaw was hurting, and his knee was scraped, but he was feeling OK and lucky to walk away from the crash, which backed up traffic for two miles on westbound I-70.
"I just took a short walk away from the plane," said Clark, 52. "I'm gonna buy a lottery ticket tonight!"
His friend and pilot, Brooks Johnson, fractured his back. Both men were taken to Vail Valley Medical Center.
Clark said he and Johnson, also from Green River, were on their way to Leadville to meet Johnson's brother and attend a motorbike event in Copper Mountain. They wanted to fly over the motorbike event first to see it from the sky.
"We had plenty of altitude heading over the pass, but then we lost altitude quite rapidly," Clark said. "Brooks did whatever he did to maintain altitude. He tried to do whatever he could to pull up."
Clark said Johnson hadn't intended to land on the highway and landed on a clearing next to the road after the plane's wing tip was clipped off by a median barrier.
Clark said he wasn't thinking about death as the plane went down and was confident Johnson would land the plane safely.
"Brooks is a good pilot. He has been a pilot for years," Clark said. "I'd fly with him again tomorrow."
Johnson's wife, Nancy Johnson, said she was relieved her husband survived.
"All I heard was the plane was down," she said. "And at that point, I'm freaking out. I'm thinking 'Where?' because of all the mountains in Colorado, and you know, 'He's a goner."'
Witnesses said the plane touched down twice on the westbound lanes of the highway just before 10 a.m.
"There was a motorcyclist who was heading westbound on the interstate. The plane was coming toward the motorcyclist and the motorcyclist actually had to duck to get out of the way," said Silverthorn.
She said the plane clipped a highway sign, which caused it to skid and then crash into trees on the hillside.
The plane did not catch fire and no on the interstate was hurt.
Many of the people who saw the plane crash couldn't believe that its passengers survived.
The crash sheared off the tip of one wing and scattered pieces of the plane across the hillside.
Emergency crews from Copper Mountain and Vail responded to the scene, Silverthorn said. One westbound lane of I-70 was closed while crews investigated, backing up traffic for several miles, Silverthorn said.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
excellant aircraft...my dad owned an Apache (twin engine) for a number of years, I got instrument rated in it, thank goodness I never got to find out if I was this good a pilot...but I had complete confidence in the plane It's a shame the lawyers have crippled Piper, Cessna and the others...flying is an awesome sport!!!
Of all the things you EXPECT to mess with you on the road... Deer, small animals, blondes w/ cellphones, 90+ year old people who are still driving... You could list 1000 things, and not ONE of them would be an airplane trying to take your head off