John David Duggar and Wife Abbie Break Silence on Plane Crash: 'Thankful for God's Protection'

·2 min read
John and Abbie Duggar
John and Abbie Duggar

John and Abbie Duggar/Instagram

John David Duggar and his wife, Abbie, are finally speaking out about the plane crash that John David — who was piloting the aircraft — was involved in last year.

"An emergency landing or any kind of plane crash is a scary thing, but it's exactly what pilots are trained for," John David, 32, and Abbie, who is also a pilot, said in a statement to Celebuzz on Friday.

"We are so thankful for God's protection, as we all walked away without injuries when this happened last October," their statement continued. "We so appreciate the love and care so many have expressed toward us!"

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The Humphreys County Sheriff's Department previously confirmed to PEOPLE that the incident took place around 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 in Waverly, Tennessee, and involved "a family from Arkansas."

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The 911 dispatcher for the area said that John David was piloting the aircraft and is the one who called in the crash, citing "double engine failure" before landing the plane in a field.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, there were no injuries sustained from the crash, and two unnamed passengers were on board. There was, however, "substantial" damage to the aircraft, and the NTSB's investigation into the incident remains open.

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The plane crash is just the latest of a string of trying events that have plagued the Duggar family in recent months.

In September, eldest Duggar sister Jana received a citation for endangering the welfare of a minor after a child she was babysitting at the time wandered out of the house and into the street.

She later settled the citation outside of the district court in Elm Springs, Arkansas, paying $880 after pleading guilty, a clerk confirmed to PEOPLE.

News of Jana's citation came just one day after brother Josh was found guilty of two charges of knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography. He faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for each conviction.