Pilot doesn’t remember much of Smith County plane crash

Photo: WKRN

CARTHAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Collin McDonald has taken off and landed on the small airstrip on his family’s Smith County property hundreds of times.

But Wednesday was different.

Collin said he doesn’t remember much about the crash that left him with eight facial fractures and a sprained ankle.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

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“I remember just before the impact, then just after getting out,” Collin said.

The 23-year-old Middle Tennessee State University Honors College student was returning home to his family’s farm in Carthage when his plane went down just off the grass airstrip.

He doesn’t remember it, but shortly after the crash he called his father, David.

“He called and said, ‘Dad, I’ve crashed the plane and I’m hurt,’” David McDonald said.

David told another one of his sons to call 911 and he rushed to the scene.

Collin was bleeding badly. He was eventually taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center by LifeFlight.

Collin is an accomplished young pilot. He’s logged roughly 700 hours in the pilot’s seat and has flown across the country.

Looking at pictures of the wreckage, he’s thankful to be alive.

“I’m a Christian. And I personally believe that God has a purpose for everyone’s life,” said Collin. “And I’m just thankful that he’s not through with me.”

Collin said he hopes to be back in the pilot’s seat soon.

He also hopes his crash doesn’t discourage young people from getting involved in aviation. He said it’s still safer than driving.

Collin is expected to undergo facial reconstruction surgery at Vanderbilt next week.