Colorado Springs pilot talks about surviving crash

Published: Jan. 8, 2017 at 11:46 PM MST
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11 News is talking to the Colorado Springs man who, along with his wife, survived a plane crash over the weekend.

Russ Ford and his wife Sheri were flying their Cirrus SR-22 single-engine plane over the remote Flat Tops Wilderness Area near Meeker, CO, on Saturday when he says the engine cut out.

They were at about 12,000 feet over rough terrain and Russ had to make a quick decision; whether or not to deploy the plane's emergency parachute, which is designed to bring the entire plane safely to the ground.

Russ Ford/Pilot, crash survivor: "I feel that if I pull the parachute at that time our momentum and the wind would have carried us into the cliff. The plateau is flat, but there's about a 700 foot drop on either side and I felt that we would've probably crashed, if I pulled the parachute would have crashed into the side of that cliff and I don't think that would've ended well."

Ford was able to land the plane on that plateau. It skidded for several hundred yards, and stopped just 75 yards short of a 700 foot cliff.

Ford says he believes the roughly six feet of snow helped cushion the crash landing.

Ford and his wife were stranded at the crash for about an hour and a half before a rescue helicopter picked them up. He says they're incredibly thankful to all of the rescuers who helped find and save them.

"that's the biggest thing I just want to thank all the pilots, search and rescue, the sheriffs department, ATC all those people who helped." "It was definitely a miracle."

Miraculously, the only injury in the crash was a bruise to Ford's wife's pinky finger.

The NTSB will be investigating what caused the plane's engine to fail.