WAUKESHA — What started as a normal flight from New Orleans to Wisconsin turned into a harrowing experience for a pilot, co-pilot, courier and 53 dogs.
Thanks to the pilots’ quick response, lives were saved on November 15.
No life-threatening injuries were sustained during the flight. All animals have been triaged at HAWS by staff veterinarians and are being monitored for any health issues.
The Freeman obtained a copy of the incident report from the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department from the day of the accident.
On November 15, Lake Country Fire & Rescue and the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department responded to Western Lakes Golf Club, W287-N1963 Oakton Road, after the plane carrying 53 dogs and three people crashed on the course.
Pilot Raymond Pruitt told authorities he took off from Lakefront Airport in New Orleans with his first officer Kuhurram Hassain and courier Erin Robbins. They were carrying over 50 dogs. Pruitt, in his statement, said the preflight check, takeoff and travel were all normal. On approach to Waukesha County Airport, the aircraft began to turn right.
“Raymond (Pruitt) and Kuhurram (Hussain) decided to disengage the autopilot to correct the problem. The aircraft continued to turn right. Raymond added full power and tried to come back up. The engines did not respond as Raymond expected. Raymond noted that when they turned into clouds, they were staring at the ground. Raymond made sure everyone was okay and they got off the plane,” the report said.
Pruitt told authorities the plane is an SA22 AT Metro Liner built in 1985. There were 300 gallons of fuel at touchdown.
“There would have been more if the wings were still attached because of the fuel stored in the wings,” the report said.
Read our full story on the report in Tuesday’s print edition of The Freeman. Subscribe today to a paper or digital subscription to access it.