A birthday celebration became a scary situation after a plane crash at the Las Cruces International Airport Sunday afternoon.
Airport officials said the pilot and two relatives were in the air when the aircraft was unable to maintain the speed necessary to sustain altitude shortly after leaving the runway. The pilot and general manager of Adventure Aviation, Doug Newton, was celebrating his 70th birthday with two relatives.
Las Cruces Fire officials explained, the experienced pilot was able to turn the aircraft around and attempt to make an emergency landing in an empty lot before crashing into a fence and a sand berm in the desert. They said Newton and the two passengers walked several hundred feet to the airport terminal from the crash site.
Newton was airlifted to University Medical Center with a broken nose and other facial fractures. The passengers were taken to the hospital by ambulance.