Golden Valley man escapes injury in plane crash

A Golden Valley man escaped serious injuries when his small plane crashed Wednesday afternoon seconds after taking off from the Kingman airport.

Chuck Jernigan walked away with only small cuts when his two-seat plane lost power around 2:30 p.m.

and nose-dived into the desert several hundred yards northeast of the end of the airport's runway.

Jernigan said he started out around 110 to 115 mph when the air speed dropped below 100 mph.

A plane taking off that slow does not have enough power to keep it in the air.

"Either way, I was coming down," Jernigan said.

He was trying to land in a flat field just past the runway, trying to avoid some small hills further on.

The plane crashed hard on the nose wheel, breaking the wheel and the propeller and damaging the engine.

Jernigan ended up hitting his head on the windshield.

He recently bought the plane and had the Volkswagen engine checked before flying the plane for the first time.

Jernigan, an experienced pilot with 4,000 hours flying time, said he might now sell the damaged plane, a Rand Robinson KR-2, and buy a new one.