Smith Co. plane crash pilot: "The Lord blessed me, put his hands in protection around me"

Some say it's a miracle a local pilot is alive after walking away from a nasty plane crash in Smith County.

Next week, Collin McDonald will go to Vanderbilt to begin reconstruction surgery on his face. The fact that's the only major injury he suffered is something both he and his family are thankful for tonight.

“I've got some pretty extensive facial trauma," McDonald said.

Eight facial fractures and a few bumps and bruises later, McDonald believes he's lucky to be dealing with nothing more after walking away from this.

"The Lord blessed me, put his hand in protection around me, I'm very thankful to be here," McDonald said.

McDonald still doesn't remember much about the crash other than it happened after an aborted landing on this strip by his house during heavy winds.

"That was a factor, but it was just one of the factors that add up to the crash I assume," McDonald said.

McDonald's father David immediately rushed over to the scene and helped his son get free of the leaking fuel.

“It was scary looking, I thought it's not as bad as it looks," David McDonald said.

David McDonald considers it a miracle his son survived and he admits he'll be nervous when the day comes for Collin to get back in the cockpit.

The young pilot has been flying for eight years and last summer, even flew across the country.

He says this accident isn't going to stop his dream of flying missionary work to third world countries.

"I'm a Christian and I personally believe God has a purpose for everyone's life and I'm thankful he's not through with me," Collin said.

Collin said he hopes potential pilots aren't scared away from flying because of his accident.

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