ANCHORAGE -

A small airplane crashed into a group of trees in Wasilla shortly after takeoff Sunday afternoon, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

AST spokesperson Timothy Despain said a sudden gust of crosswind pushed the Taylorcraft airplane landed in trees near Meadow Lakes Drive just after taking off from a nearby airstrip. The plane was stuck nearly 50 feet off the ground.

58-year-old Edward T. Merren of Wasilla, the pilot and sole occupant of the plane, was not injured during the crash, according to troopers. But he was not able to exit the aircraft until emergency responders arrived. 

Emergency responders were initially unable to use heavy equipment in the area because the ground was soft from breakup, but MEA used a boom truck to rescue Merren.

A helicopter removed the plane from the trees and lowered it to the ground on Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and will investigate the incident.