Student Pilot Crashes Into Police Department


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FARMINGTON, N.M. -- A student pilot practicing takeoffs and landings in a small plane crashed through the roof of a police station, forcing the evacuation of 10 inmates.

The pilot, a student with Mesa Airlines' pilot development program, suffered head and facial injuries but was conscious when he was taken to a hospital Thursday night, said Fire Marshal Herb Veazey. No one inside the building was injured.

The pilot appeared to be preparing to land on a runway about 400 yards from the Farmington Police Department, Police Lt. Doug Kennedy said.

"I was pulling into the parking lot when I saw the plane veer straight up and come into the north end of the building," Sgt. Darin Hardy said.

The plane crashed into an area of the station that houses detectives. Two detectives were able to leave the building without injury. Ten adult inmates in nearby holding cells were transferred to a county jail.

The crash happened around 7:15 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza apparently lost power before the crash.