BAYTOWN, Texas -- Relatives say someone from above had been looking out for the Flynts when their plane went down on Monday night.
The family took off from Baytown Airport in a Cessna 170 but struck a high-tension power line and came crashing onto a baseball field minutes after takeoff.
“Finding out it was our neighbors and friends, it’s pretty scary,” said Beth Shlauch who lives next door to the family. “We never know when our last moment is going to be and thank God they are all going to be okay.”
The incident happened at Walter Jenkins Memorial Park just after 9 p.m.
The Texas Department of Public Safety later identified the pilot as 48-year old Gary Flynt of Baytown. His 8-year old son and 44-year old wife, Linda, were also on the plane.
Authorities said two Life Flight helicopters took them to the hospital. All were in stable condition as of Tuesday morning, DPS said.
Shlauch said it was no secret that Gary Flynt loved to fly. According this father, the 48-year old engineer at Johnson Space Center held a private pilot’s license, a commercial license, and even a teaching license. He said his son has flown for more than 15 years.
He said that the couple went up because their son wanted to see Baytown at night.
Overnight, state troopers kept an eye on the wreckage before investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration arrived Tuesday morning.
Flynt told his father that the engine had simply stopped. The impact of their fall could be felt for blocks and it knocked out electricity to nearby homes, the Baytown Police Department, and also a Walmart.
“Just everything started shaking,” resident Rene Dominguez said. “And we saw sparks coming out of the wires.”
Relatives say Linda Flynt suffered the worst injuries and went through multiple surgeries.
Many are amazed the family even survived.
“Looking at the plane and then hearing the reports of the injuries and the surgeries and those kinds of things that happened last night, it is a miracle they made it and we’re very thankful for that,” Beth Shlauch said.
Area residents said the crash sound liked “fireworks” but violent. There were no injuries on the ground.