The Cessna was extensively damaged after strong cross winds caused the terrifying accident as it came into land at Glenforsa airfield on Mull yesterday morning.
Remarkably, the male passenger was uninjured and the 49-year-old female pilot suffered only minor facial injuries.
David Howitt, manager at Glenforsa airfield, who was first on the scene, said: "They were trapped – if it had caught fire they would have had it.
"They are lucky to be alive, you wouldn't have thought anybody could have got out of it alive."
Mr Howitt said the couple had taken advice about the wind from another pilot, but the aircraft had got into difficulties, with the nose wheel digging into the earth when they landed.
Mr Howitt, 72, said: "I went down to the aircraft and tried to open the passenger door. The passenger was trapped, he was knocking on the window but I couldn't open it. I went round to the other side of the aircraft and managed to get the pilot side door open and she (the pilot) was bleeding, she was hanging on the straps.
"This other local guy came and he was the hero of the day, he got her out."
The two men then got the passenger out, and an ambulance arrived within minutes.
Crew commander Iain Noble, from Tobermory retained fire station, said: "They were very lucky because it was quite nasty.
"There is quite substantial damage to the plane – it was upside down."
Volunteer fire fighters from Salen and Craignure assisted the team from Tobermory to ensure the area was safe and to cordon off the aircraft.
The spokesman said the pilot had been taken to Dunaros Hospital on Mull and then by helicopter to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow for precautionary checks, which proved satisfactory.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch said the incident would be investigated.