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Quick-thinking pilot helped save cadets after Geneseo plane crash

The Cessna 182 single engine plane flipped upside down after crashing around 6 p.m. Friday. (WHAM photo)

UPDATE (7/17): Livingston County Sheriff's deputies say the pilot in last week's plane crash at the Geneseo Airport remains in the hospital.

In an update released Tuesday night, deputies say 65-year-old Timothy Sheffer of Rush was seriously hurt in the crash. He is still at Strong Memorial Hospital, being treated for a broken back and other injuries. He is currently listed in satisfactory condition.

Two cadets who were also in the plane suffered non-life-threatening injuries and have since been released from the hospital.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Original article:

Geneseo, N.Y. (WHAM) - The two teens on board the private plane that crashed Friday evening are out of the hospital recovering.

The 65-year-old pilot remains at Strong Memorial Hospital.

The two teens were doing orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) program at the Geneseo Airport Friday night.

It was during takeoff when the pilot realized something was wrong.

The Cessna 182 single engine plane flipped upside down after crashing around 6 p.m.

The pilot made a split-second decision before the impact.

“When you're on takeoff you're not very high yet, so when they had a problem on takeoff they only had a minute or less to make decisions,” said Mark Jones, Finger Lakes Group Commander of the Civil Air Patrol. “He did an amazing job getting the aircraft down in the shape he did with less than a minute to deal with the problem.”

Jones ran to help after the small aircraft went down. He said the two passengers, aged 14 and 15, were cadets with the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the US Air Force.

The cadets had minor injuries. The pilot suffered a broken back, but Jones said he helped get the teens out of the plane and out of harm’s way.

“He was very concerned about the cadets and doing his best to make sure everyone who was responding knew about the risks of approaching the aircraft that was down,” said Jones.

First responders were prepared to react. They had just wrapped up a practice session for emergencies.

“In preparation for the air show, we always sit down with the sheriff’s department and the Geneseo fire department and call emergency services in Livingston County,” said Dave Cooper, Logistics Coordinator for the Geneseo Air Show. “We had been through that about a week ago with the fire department and the sheriff’s department and with the FAA, so it was fresh in everybody's mind.”

The Cessna plane was meant to be part of the air show’s display; the flight was not a part of the show.

According to CAP the pilot has more than 20 years of flying experience.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash.

According to the public affairs officer for the New York Wing of Civil Air Patrol, airplane crashes are extremely rare no matter the state or location, and fatal ones even more so.

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