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Plane engine fails, pilot plows through pasture

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
A Mississippi pilot managed to crash land his single-engine Mooney airplane in a pasture just yards from the Alabama-Florida line Monday morning after his engine died at 4,500 feet.
Neither the pilot, Steve Wooten of Indianola, Miss., nor his passenger, Brent Williams of Greenville, Miss., were injured.
Wooten said when his engine died, he had hoped to make it to Brewton's airport. When it became obvious he wouldn't make it that far, he began considering other options.
Wooten and Williams left Destin at approximately 8:45 a.m. They landed in the pasture located at 688 Stick City Road between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m.
Wooten said he circled the pasture several times before beginning his landing.
The plane plowed through a barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture. Wooten said the fence helped him stop the plane in the middle of the pasture rather in nearby woods.
Wooten, who's been flying for nine years, said he conducted a thorough pre-flight check as a demonstration for his passenger before leaving Destin. He guessed that the engine problems were caused by water in the fuel line.
There was some damage to the plane. The Escambia County Sheriff's Department, Brewton Police Department, Brewton Fire Department, and members of the Escambia County Rescue Squad responded to the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration also was called to investigate the incident.