REDLANDS (CBS) — When a small plane fell from the sky near a Redlands airport two bystanders came to the rescue, pulling the pilot out from the fiery crash.

A bi-plane crashed on Sessums Drive, in front of the Redlands Municipal Airport, just before 9 a.m. Monday.

“I saw the plane burst into flames and, then, I saw a guy try to get out,” said Redlands resident Susan Solano.

Wolf Lowe and Joe Savage, who work at Hangar 24 brewery on Sessums Drive, came and pulled the pilot out just before the aircraft went up in flames.

“Wolf and I went over, and got him under the shoulders, and started dragging him away, and we backed away,” Savage said.

“It was a matter of seconds before the plane went up in flames.”

The pilot, 45-year-old Paul Sowell, complained of back pain and cuts to his forehead and was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, Fire officials said.

“He’s very lucky a Hangar 24 employee was there to pull him out before the plane caught fire,” said Carl Baker, of the Redlands Police Department.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the cause of the crash.

Comments (2)
  1. john nau says:

    The FAA dose not ever invetigate crashes. The NTSB dose. The NTSB is the chief investigators of all air crashes as well as ships, trains and certain interstate trucking mishaps. The NTSB has no athourity to require so thier findings are fowarded to the approite authority with sugestion to make changes, if it is found nessecary. Please check your facts before posting.

  2. Duh! says:

    Hopefully the two good samaritans do not get sued for their efforts.

    According tot he California Supreme Court, they can be sued for not being trained in rescue operations and therefore can be liable to injuries they may have caused the pilot when they moved him.

    See the story here:

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