Teen Saves Pilot From Flaming Wreck After A Helicopter Crashed Onto His Tractor

Mason Joseph Zimmer
helicopter wreckage on fire after it crashed on a tractor
Facebook | Orondo Firefighters Association

A teen has not only manage to survive a helicopter crash that occurred almost on top of him, but saved the life of the pilot to boot.

Although it's scary to think about, we never know what's going to suddenly happen around us. And while it's perfectly natural to run away screaming when an alarming situation develops, some people will find themselves acting on a feeling that ends up turning them into heroes.

And while those special feelings can be life-saving for the way they alert us to unseen dangers, they can also take hold so quickly that those responsible for these heroic acts barely realize what they did until it's all over.

That seemed to describe one Washington teen's reaction when he was suddenly thrust into a situation that most of us wouldn't ever think to prepare for.

On July 6, 19-year-old Logan Schneider of Orondo, Washington was taking a tractor around his family's cherry orchard.

Logan Schneider posing with large black dog in front of leaves
NCW Life | Logan Schneider

According to People, he had been blowing cherries — which is a nickname for a process to dry them off after a rain — when he heard "two thumps" from above despite wearing noise-cancelling headphones.

In his words, "I looked up and that's when I saw it. As soon as I saw it coming down on me I was like, 'Oh no, this is definitely gonna hit me.'"

Indeed, a helicopter that had apparently been conducting an agricultural survey came crashing down on Schneider's tractor after becoming entangled in some nearby power lines.

tractor on fire in front of farm house after helicopter crash
Facebook | Orondo Firefighters Association

As a result, Schneider found himself pinned against his steering wheel with the nose of the helicopter coming to rest just behind the driver's seat.

Although even he isn't sure how he managed to free himself from this predicament, it wasn't long before he noticed the pilot being trapped by his harness.

As Schneider put it during an interview with KING-TV, "I heard him screaming. I looked and I saw him upside down hanging. Fire was everywhere. When I was in the moment I really wasn't thinking. I was just doing."

Nonetheless, he was able to undo the pilot's harness and both were able to walk away from the wreckage under their own power before firefighters arrived.

helicopter wreckage on fire after it crashed on a tractor
Facebook | Orondo Firefighters Association

As a representative for the Orondo Firefighters Association wrote on Facebook, crews were initially unable to safely control the blaze due to the downed power lines but extinguished both the tractor and the helicopter once the electricity was disabled.

And while Schneider now wears a back brace due to muscle damage there and sustained some second-degree burns on his arms, he can't help but marvel at the fact that both he and pilot Cori Johnson had non-life threatening injuries.

As Schneider said, "Looking at what happened, I don't know how we both got out."

burning wreckage in cherry orchard
Facebook | Orondo Firefighters Association

He also found out that he and Johnson share the same birthday, which passed just two days after the incident.

The fiery crash also hasn't dissuaded him from wanting to become a pilot and he's due to start flight school in the fall.

As he said, "I feel like I always have someone watching over me, God watching over me, protecting me. And you never know when it could be your last moment."

Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have said they will be investigating the incident.

h/t: People, KING-TV