by Randy Pellis
FULTON, April 11, 2019 — A small, single-engine, private plane flying south from Malone to Oswego lost engine power just miles short of the airport, attempted to glide into Fulton, grazed a utility pole with its right wing, flipped upside-down and 180 degrees around, and crashed onto a relatively quiet and wide-open section of North 4th Street in front of Stevens Auto Store this afternoon at 3:24, according to police.
Pilot Michael Simpson, 50, of Chateaugay was pulled conscious from the wreck and taken by Menter Ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. Reached by phone Thursday evening, he said he suffered a broken wrist and shoulder.
“It could have been a whole lot worse,” Simpson said. “That’s for sure. You can tell everybody I feel very lucky that nobody else was hurt and that my injuries were minor and I appreciate everything the first responders did. They were just fantastic and the utmost professionals. I have nothing but great things to say about everybody that responded.”
Fulton Police Chief Orlo Green, on the scene of the crash, echoed Simpson’s thoughts. “The fact that he survived,” said Green, “and that he put the plane down and landing where it did, nobody else got hurt, didn’t hit a house. Could have just as easily been one block up and there’s no place to put it there, now you’re going to hit a house.”
Simpson gave Green his contact information to call his wife as he was placed into the ambulance.
“We know there was engine failure,” Green said.
Simpson said, “The engine quit, and I couldn’t get it restarted.”
The mangled wreck of the 1966 Cessna 150G fixed-wing, single-engine plane was put onto a large flatbed truck and taken to a hangar at the Oswego County Airport where the Federal Aviation Administration (already at the crash site) will continue its investigation.
Simpson’s plane, one of the most popular ever produced in the United States, has a range of about 350 miles at a top speed of about 124 miles per hour. The trip from Malone to Oswego is about 175 miles. A 1966 Cessna 150G presently sells for about
$20,000. Some are listed in the high 20s.