Men injured in plane crash discharged from hospital


Workers inspect the scene of a small plane crash near Flavet Field on the University of Florida campus, an area filled with tailgaters congregating before the Florida Gators' game against the Arkansas Razorback Saturday October 5, 2013 in Gainesville Fla. (Ericka Winterrowd / The Gainesville Sun)

Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8:04 p.m.

Graham Hill told his father that all he could see when he circled the University of Florida stadium Saturday was the thousands of people around it, but no room for the falling plane he was piloting.

The engine had cut off. He had already jettisoned the McDonald's banner he was carrying to lighten the load.

Finally, he told his father, he saw the safest place to crash the plane.

The small Cessna 172F Skyhawk crash-landed on Flavet Field on the UF campus at 4 p.m., right before the Gators' football game against Arkansas. To a surprised group of tailgaters, the plane then bounced, hit a truck, and landed in a bunch of trees.

Hill, 28, and the passenger, Ian Conrad, 26, were discharged from the hospital during the weekend, according to a UF Health Shands Hospital official. Hill's father said Monday that his son got stitches on his head and chin and that Conrad's nose had to be put back in place.

“They both want to thank the people who were there who ran up and helped them,” he said. Hill and his father both live in Jacksonville.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office aviation unit is collecting data from the crash, according to public information officer Lt. Todd Kelly. And it has nothing to do with the government shutdown.

“For generally small aircrafts, the (Federal Aviation Administration) and (National Transportation Safety Board) are unlikely to investigate further, unless there was a death or it was a commercial aircraft,” Kelly said.

Hill's father said his son is resting and will soon be able to go back to his job as a pilot in plane advertising.

“He'll be back flying as soon as the next job comes up,” he said.

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