Small Plane Crash Caught on Tape

Camera in the cockpit shows what happened when small plane stalled.
3:00 | 08/09/12

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Transcript for Small Plane Crash Caught on Tape
A small plane with a father, son and two friends on board stalled in midair, sending them straight toward the ground. Abc's senior national correspondent jim avila shows us what happened, thanks to a camera in the cockpit. Reporter: Moment of impact two cameras rolling. One in the front seat, the other in back, as this vintage stinson 108, carrying three passengers and one pilot clips tree tops in the idaho wilderness, turns upside down and crashes to the ground. Pop, pop, pop. You hear the wings start hitting trees. And then the plane just kind of is blasting through trees. Reporter: From takeoff, the single engine plane had trouble in the thin mountain air, struck ming and failing to gain enough altitude. It sounded like rapid gunfire until we were on the ground. It was kind of just mayhem. Glass and debris and sticks and pine cones and everything just flying. Reporter: The cameras still rolling after impact, buried in 2 dirt, as the three hiking buddies from boise can be heard checking on each other. Everybody okay? I think we're okay. Please get out. Reporter: The survivors find the camera. Stunned silent by the mangled wreck, now worried about the pilot, 70-year-old air national guard veteran, helicopter pilot in vietnam, les gropp, suffering the worst of it. A broken jaw, rib and lacerations on his face. Abc news aviation consultant steve ganyard says the flight was doomed from the start. This is the critical point here, right? He just doesn't have the power. Too hot. This airplane is just not going to get airborne today. Reporter: Small planes account for nearly all the accidents in the sky. More than 1,400 last year. And all the fatalities -- 485. But here is the surprising good news. Believe it or not, a single engine crash like this one does not mean instant death. 9 out of 10 are survived. A 90% survival rate. I think my ah ha moment was hanging upside down there in the plane awake. Knowing I was going to be there for my family. It was just -- just amazing. Reporter: Clearly. Jim avila, abc news, washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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