A Laurel County man was airlifted from the scene after his plane crashed near the London-Corbin Airport Friday morning.
The pilot is identified as 78-year-old Everett Hawthorn of London.
Bryan Melborn, a friend of Hawthorn, was at the airport terminal.
Melborn said Hawthorn had recently completed training in flying ultra-light aircraft at a school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“They had cleared him for solo flights,” Melborn said.
Hawthorn was at the London-Corbin Airport practicing touch-and-go landings about 9:45 a.m.
The maneuver is used to practice many landings in a short time.
It is also an emergency maneuver in the event a pilot lands without sufficient runway remaining to bring the aircraft to a stop.
Melborn said when Hawthorn was on his third maneuver when he applied power to the engine and attempted to bring the plane back into the air, he climbed too steeply.
The plane veered off, clipped a row of trees and crashed into a field north of the airport.
Hawthorn was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with broken bones and cuts on his body.
UK officials were unable to provide an update on his condition.
Melborn said Hawthorn was conscious and talking, asking his friend to cover up the instruments on the Rans Coyote single-engine aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing to investigate the crash.