Pilot Flying Geico Banner Crashes into Colorado House He Used to Own

| by Allison Geller

Geico may save you on your car insurance, but it won’t save you from a plane crash. The pilot of a single-engine plane pulling a banner advertisement for the car insurance company crashed into a house he used to own outside of Denver on Monday.

Brian Veatch, an employee of Drag’n’Fly banners in Larkspur, Colorado and veteran firefighter, was piloting a Piper PA-25 Pawnee plane when he crashed into a Northglenn house. He later realized that he used to own that home, having sold it in 2003, according to ABC 7.

"He was trying to make it to this field over here and didn't make it," said Northglenn Police Department spokesman Ron Haralson.

According to South Metro Fire, the disaster-ready pilot was able to lower himself from the cockpit into the second floor of the house and escape. He called 911 and was treated and released at the scene.

The two-story house caught fire, with the flames spreading to the basement. The Associated Press reports that the plane’s tail and shattered wing stuck out from the remains of the building.

The plane was totaled.

The Geico banner added to the confusion of the scene. Witnesses said the pilot released the banner just seconds before the crash, and that it landed several blocks away.

"It was carrying a large GEICO banner that was probably about 200 feet off the ground," said witness Shanna Rudd.  "The airplane had its nose up as it went down."

The Federal Aviation Administration mistakenly wrote in its report that the pilot had released a parachute, not a banner, according to Tom Mace, the owner of the banner company.

No people were at the home at the time of the crash. Firefighters did successfully rescue two dogs and a lizard.

Sources: ABC 7, The Associated Press