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Woodside flight student walks away from crash

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A flight student from Woodside escaped with minor injuries Sunday night after crashing a plane during takeoff from an airfield in New Jersey, police said.

Jesus Montiel, a 20-year-old student pilot, was practicing takeoffs with his instructor, Akihiko Oga, along a runway at Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford when he lost control of the single-engine plane and crashed into a pile of dirt off the runway at 7:32 p.m., police said.

Both Montiel and Oga were able to climb out of the aircraft, which came to rest on its nose, lying vertically against a pile of dirt.

“The nose was damaged somewhat,” said Capt. David Hardin of the West Milford Township Police Department. “It was a considerable distance off the runway.”

Both the pilot and his instructor suffered minor injuries and were flown by New Jersey State Police Medivac helicopter to Morristown Memorial Hospital, officials said.

Oga was treated and released later that evening, hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Accardo said. She was unable to locate any record of Montiel’s stay at the facility.

Oga told police that the plane, a Cessna 172, went down because Montiel had pulled the nose up too high, officials said. Oga works as an instructor at Teterboro Airport, police said.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the crash, spokeswoman Holly Baker said.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

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