McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- A small plane crashed into the side of a McMinnville home Monday afternoon, killing the pilot and leaving the homeowner shaken.
The pilot who was killed in the crash was identified as 56-year-old Charles Yochelson of Sheridan, Ore., according to the McMinnville Police Department.
Investigators said the Lancair O-235 had taken on gas just before noon and the pilot had reported a problem with the landing gear. The plane hit the home at 512 Northwest 22nd Street at about 1:25 p.m., police said. It smashed into the garage and then into the home.
Resident Katie Van Cleave said that she was sitting in her kitchen and heard the plane approach.
"Out of the corner of my eye I caught a view through my garage door window and saw an airplane in my garage going through my house," she said. "And that is when I realized it was an airplane that just almost hit me."
Van Cleave said she "scooped up her pets" and ran into her backyard, thinking at first that it may have been a hot-water heater explosion.
Barbara Clark, a teacher at a nearby school, was in recess with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students when she watched the plane careen into the house.
"It looked like the pilot was fighting to try to level it and it would flip upside down," she said. "Then I saw it flip upside down for the second time and it just took a nose dive."
Neighbor Lorraine Brown also witnessed the crash.
"I heard a big bang and saw something shoot from the sky, hit my fence, and propel across the street into my neighbor's driveway and take out their trash can and recycling can," she said.
Lyn Giammanco, another neighbor, said she was about to walk inside her house when she heard the plane hit.
"The wing from the plane was in the driveway of the house next door," said Giammanco. "It just rattles you. You don't think this could ever happen."
Audio of Katie Van Cleave describing the plane crashing into her house. (Courtesy of the StatesmanJournal)