HOUSTON - A small plane crashed on top of a Macy's warehouse near the UH campus in southeast Houston late Sunday.
The 'very lucky' pilot survived.
"He could not have landed on a better spot. He's right on top of a structural I-beam," said Lee Hinajosa with Montgomery County Iron Works.
Photos show the plane split open, the crumpled wreckage at the very edge of the two story building.
The building is located on Ernestine near Harby – just across I-45 from the University of Houston.
When the Houston Fire Department got the call around 10:57 p.m. they had to use emergency beacons to figure out where the plane crashed.
The Hobby Airport tower advised that the small plane went off the radar about four miles north of the airport.
“And I was watching it and I was watching the struggle,” said Jonathan Siguenza who lives nearby. “We heard like a big bang and we tried to come and look for it and we didn’t see it.”
An emergency beacon on the plane led Houston firefighters to the roof, where they used a rescue basket to lower the pilot to the ground.
The pilot, 54, was the only one in the airplane. He was released from the hospital after only a few hours.
'Very very lucky. To put it mildly. Very lucky. I can't believe he even found the roof in the dark," Hinajosa said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Hinajosa, the building maintenance chief, is in charge of getting the mess of mangled metal down to the ground.
"We'll disassemble it up there on the roof and bring it down in pieces. I need to find out who wants it and where it's gonna go," he said. "But I think the safe thing is to disassemble it before we bring it down because it will come apart when we pick it up anyway."
The only damage to the roof is a broken skylight and the rain gutter clipped by the left wing.