WELLINGTON, Fla. (CBSMiami) – A pilot is recuperating from his injuries tonight after he crash landed into a pool behind a home in Wellington.

Witnesses say it appeared the pilot was having trouble controlling the plane before he took off.

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The accident happened inside the Wellington Aero Club — a community with a grass landing strip in western Palm Beach County.

Chopper 4 captured the aftermath Friday afternoon as firefighters rescued a pilot from a damaged single engine plane. The plane crash landed upside down in a pool, leaking fuel with the pilot stuck inside.


Barbel Abela was in a plane ready to take off from the grass runway. She saw the pilot taxiing and said he was taking off downwind. She saw the plane begin veering off to the left.

“We were saying, ‘Oh my God he’s going to go down, he’s going to go down,'” Arbela said.

She and fellow pilot Wayne Haley rushed to help. They feared the worst.

“The airplane was on its back and obviously you make a prayer for the pilot,” she said.

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Haley said the plane got airborne, clipped some trees and went down into the pool behind of a home.

“As a pilot, as anybody to watch something crash, it’s pretty scary,” Haley said.

We’re told that two people were inside the home but neither was injured. They were evacuated in case the leaking fuel sparked an explosion.

The pilot was stuck and firefighters used ladders to give him an escape route over the gasoline filled pool.

Neighbors were glad everyone survived.

“It’s very fortunate,” said neighbor Darcey Alasia. “Hopefully everyone’s ok.”

The owner of the plane — Joe Mascaro — told CBS 4 News the pilot is a certified flight instructor. Mascaro said the pilot suffered a concussion and a broken rib but is expected to be ok.

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Mascaro said it will be up to federal investigators to figure out what caused the crash.