BLACK FOREST - A single-engine airplane carrying one man crashed in a wooded area just 250 yards from Route 44, near the Black Forest Inn, Sunday afternoon.
Emergency crews from several area volunteer fire departments were dispatched just before 2 p.m. to the snowy crash scene, not far from several homes.
Two boys were the first ones to notice something was wrong and were credited with notifying neighbors to call 911.
PAUL GARRETT/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
Wreckage from a Piper Cherokee plane is scattered throughout a wooded area, left, after the aircraft crashed Sunday afternoon.
The unidentified male pilot was taken to an undisclosed medical facility for treatment
of injuries that emergency responders said
were not life threatening.
Tanner Riggle, 11, of Jersey Shore, and Josh Marr, 15, of Renovo, heard the plane overhead before it crashed into trees.
"It didn't sound right," said Riggle, adding that he saw the plane "bouncing off trees."
The two looked around until they spotted the Piper Cherokee on its side in the woods.
"I said, 'Josh, that's a plane!' " Riggle said.
Marr said the boys got about 20 yards away from the wreckage, smelled gas and ran for help.
Don Bratz, one of the first emergency responders on the scene from the Black Forest Volunteer Fire Co., said the male pilot was conscious and talking when crews reached him.
Firefighters had to push the plane upright and cut the top frame off to reach the victim. Bratz said the pilot was partially covered in water from the crash landing.
Parts from the plane were scattered in the forest, along with Christmas presents the man was transporting.
"It didn't seem like he even really remembered. I guess he didn't know what happened," Bratz said. "He said several times, 'I don't know what happened.' "
Bratz said the pilot complained of neck and back pain before being removed by a rescue basket to a waiting medical helicopter that landed in a nearby field that once was an airport landing strip. He was taken to an undisclosed medical facility.
State police said Sunday evening that the pilot's injuries were not believed to be life threatening. His identity was not released.
The plane left from the Waukesha County Airport in Wisconsin at 8:41 a.m. Sunday and stopped at Youngstown Elser Metro Airport in Mahoning, Ohio, at 11:47 a.m., according to flight records on www.flightaware.com. From there, the propeller plane flew to the New Castle Municipal Airport in Lawrence County, just inside the Pennsylvania-Ohio border.
The plane was destined for the privately owned Kingston-Ulster Airport in Kingston, N.Y.
Kurt Stanich, airport manager at the Waukesha County Airport, said the plane was based from that airport. As of Sunday, the plane -which was built in 1970 - was registered to a company with a Newark, Del., address, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are expected to interview witnesses and investigate the scene today.
The same plane was involved in an accident and had to make an emergency landing in a field in 1989 in Dover, Del., when it began to spray oil from underneath its engine, according to NTSB records. No one was hurt.