EUSTIS, Fla. - A powered hang glider crashed near Eustis Airport Road in Eustis
around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, sending one man to the hospital, officials said.
The man's instructor said that it was his first solo flight with the hang glider.
Witness Dana Waltrip saw the hang glider just moments before he crashed in the pasture.
"He stalled right here, he cleared this fence," Waltrip said.
Waltrip said the hang glider went down in the pasture, got back into the air and ultimately crashed in another pasture.
He came running and when he got there, he said he saw a man in his 30s bleeding from his head.
Waltrip said the motor of the glider went out just before he crashed.
"I took off my favorite Grateful Dead T-shirt, started packing his head, asking him questions," Waltrip said.
When he was airlifted to the
hospital, Waltrip said the man was conscious and talking.
"He says, 'My first flight ever, been waiting for this all my life,'" Waltrip said.
The man's name and condition were not released.
The man's flight instructor was the one picking up the pieces today. He said the student flew with him several times to train for Thursday's flight.
"He said he was glad to be alive, he
did, and he was quite emotional, too," said the flight instructor.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office said the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash but an investigator wasn't there Thursday.
A recording at the FAA office said someone will return calls after the federal shutdown.