"The plane was flying, and then, all of a sudden the engine just died," says Pilot Fred Roscher of Cupertino.
Roscher and his co-pilot tried everything to trouble shoot as his 3/4 scale P-51 Mustang experienced some sort of mechanical failure around 8 a.m. Saturday. They had just taken off from Reno-Stead Airport en route to South Dakota for an air race. Down below was light traffic on Pyramid Highway and what he thought could be a safe emergency landing at 110 miles per hour.
"We touched down and immediately hit him," says Roscher.
In the plane's path was a truck traveling north bound. With the world spinning around him like a flash, Roscher recalls a split second like a picture.
"I remember I could look out and I could see the driver's face and it was just kind of like, 'What the heck happened to him?' And we spun around."
Roscher and his co-pilot got out of the cockpit with some difficulty, but right on time. It was carrying 90 gallons of aviation fuel. For a second time, luck was on their side.
"A couple minutes later, the plane caught fire and was completely consumed," Roscher explains.
Amazingly, no major injuries were reported. Everyone involved in the accident walked away with no more than scratches from broken glass.
"We got out, [and were] just kind of lucky. It's a very harrowing experience," says Roscher.
While he is thankful no one was injured, Roscher says he's heartbroken his plane is a complete loss. He spent 13 years building it, and planned to fly it in the Reno Air Races later this year.
He also apologizes for blocking drivers trying to get to Pyramid Lake. The two lane highway was closed until 1:50 p.m.
Roscher says he hopes black boxes from the plane can be recovered from the fire. The cause of the plane's mechanical failure is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to authorities, due to engine failure, the single-engine plane, was attempting to make an emergency landing on Pyramid Highway. The plane ended up colliding into a truck, spinning the truck around.
According to the pilot, he says he was flying at about 110-miles-per-hour on the approach to land, when the plane hit the truck who was traveling northbound.
Fortunately, there were minor injuries reported to both the pilot and the passenger in the plane. Four people in the truck were also left with minor injuries.
According to NHP, Pyramid Lake Highway at this location will be closed for a couple hours for investigation. The plane, a P51 Mustang, took off from Reno-Stead Airport and was in route to an air show in Oshkosh.
The pilot of the Thunder Mustang airplane is Fred Roscher of Cupertino, California. According to FAA data the airplane was manufactured in 2011 and had not been involved in any other crashes or incidents.
WASHOE COUNTY, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com)-- Rescue crews are responding to reports of a plane crash near Pyramid Highway, one mile south of Winnemuca Ranch Road.
According to authorities a fixed single-wing engine, attempting to make an emergency landing, crashed just off Pyramid Highway around 8:30 Saturday morning.
There are unknown reports of any injuries at this time.
Pyramid Highway at this location will be closed for an undetermined amount of time.
News 4 does have a crew on scene and we will up date you with any details that become available to us.