Orcas man crashes plane into hangar

Responders cleaning up a fuel leak from the plane. - Colleen Smith Armstrong photo
Responders cleaning up a fuel leak from the plane.
— image credit: Colleen Smith Armstrong photo

An Orcas man sustained severe facial injuries after his plane crashed into a hangar at the airport.

Gilbert Blinn, 74, was attempting to hand start a 1967 Cessna 182 on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at around 11 a.m. When the plane started, it began to taxi away on its own, unoccupied.  

According to the sheriff's office, Blinn was struck by the tail section of the plane and knocked to the ground. The aircraft taxied approximately 80 feet and crashed into a hangar building, causing significant damage to the hangar with the propeller. Orcas Fire and Rescue spent several hours cleaning up a fuel leakage from the plane, which is totaled.

Blinn was flown to St. Joseph's for plastic surgery.

The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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