Pike Saves Pilot after Plane Crash
Posted on Jun 29, 2016
Coahoma County, MS- Tristan Ainsworth (Zeta Beta, Delta State ’14) and his mother were watching television when the power went out in their Mississippi home on June 9th, 2016. Ainsworth accounts for hearing a deafening “Wham!” as their living room went dark.
“At first, I had no idea what had happened. I stepped outside to take a look and caught my neighbor out of the corner of my eye sprinting down the hill towards the lake,” said Brother Ainsworth.
In seconds, he realized a plane had crashed in his Moon Lake backyard.
According to the Delta State Pike, adrenaline kicked in immediately. Despite recovering from a broken back, Ainsworth dove off the nearest pier and swam to the desperate pilot. Another witness, Kristen Patton, jumped in to assist him.
Ainsworth said he recognized the pilot as a man who has been flying over the lake for years. By the time he reached the injured man, the pilot was slipping in and out of consciousness.
“He blurted out broken statements about flying too low and catching his wing on a power line. I asked him if there was anyone else in the plane,” said Ainsworth.
Luckily, the man was flying solo that Thursday evening. In a race against time, the two rescuers pulled the pilot back to shore.
“We weren’t exactly sure if he had any injuries, so we had to be careful while stabilizing his head,” remembered Ainsworth. He said the 10-15 minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive felt like seconds.
Brother Ainsworth’s own back pain started to kick in once his adrenaline rush started to even out. However, his own pain never crossed his mind when it came to saving the man.
“I knew he needed help, and I never questioned having to help him,” said Ainsworth.
According to Memphis news station WMC Action News 5, the pilot is out of the hospital and doing fine.
Tristan, the Fraternity thanks you for rising to the occasion and saving the pilot’s life. For this act of selflessness, you are a True PIKE.