Pilot Gives "Crash" Course On Landing Plane Without Engine - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Pilot Gives "Crash" Course On Landing Plane Without Engine

Posted: Updated:
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

It was supposed to be a routine flying lesson out of Fresno Chandler Executive Airport, but when the Piper trainer's engine cut out in midair Monday, it quickly turned into a life or death drama in the sky for a flight instructor and his student pilot -- drama with an unexpected but happy ending, thanks to the pilots quick thinking.

"It was probably about 45 minutes into the flight," explained flight instructor Robert Jones.

Jones was conducting a flying lesson for Fresno-based, Mazzei Flying Service, shooting multiple instrument approaches into the Fresno Chandler Executive Airport.

"…and we were on final and about 400 feet and 1 ½ miles from the runway at Chandler," Jones described, "when all of a sudden the engine just went quiet. I felt the horsepower give way."

"We switched fuel tanks. That's usually a common mishap is a fuel starvation issue," but not this time, Jones continued. "That was not the issue."

Knowing he couldn't make the runway and that a densely populated neighborhood stood just in front of the airport, Jones says he looked to his side and spotted an empty field near Walnut and Church in southwest Fresno, so that's where he went.

"We were quite fast so I just brought in all the flaps, aimed for the field." But it was a field with some big poles near the end of it. Poles big enough to bring their rolling plane to an abrupt and painful stop.

"That's where I started to get a little more panicky and started drawing on the brakes a little bit," Jones related.

Fortunately, it worked and the plane came to a stop about 50 feet from the pole.

Jones and his student were able to climb out of the plane with no injuries. The plane was also undamaged.

"I'd say it's a good day," beamed Jones.

Jones, his student and the plane will all likely go on to fly another day.

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Boy's Bike Stolen, Fresno's Biking Community Rallies to Help

    Boy's Bike Stolen, Fresno's Biking Community Rallies to Help

    Some people ride their bikes for fun.Others, to get in shape.But for 12-year-old Albert Solis, his bike is his therapy."If I'm mad, I can get to a happy place and forget about what just happened," he says.Albert, has Asperger Syndrome-- a disorder that makes it tough sometimes to communicate and interact with others.He's bought a bike with his birthday money, and his mother says since he started cycling, she's seen a big change."It's just now one of those 'Ahhhhhhh' moments that he knows how ...More >>
    Some people ride their bikes for fun.Others, to get in shape.But for 12-year-old Albert Solis, his bike is his therapy."If I'm mad, I can get to a happy place and forget about what just happened," he says.Albert, has Asperger Syndrome-- a disorder that makes it tough sometimes to communicate and interact with others.He's bought a bike with his birthday money, and his mother says since he started cycling, she's seen a big change."It's just now one of those 'Ahhhhhhh' moments that he knows how ...More >>
  • VALLEY DROUGHT 2014: Hundreds Of People Reporting Water Wasters In Fresno

    VALLEY DROUGHT 2014: Hundreds Of People Reporting Water Wasters In Fresno

    The City of Fresno is looking for water wasters and they're getting a lot of help. The water conservation department says it's received hundreds of reports about people wasting water.
    More >>
    The City of Fresno is looking for water wasters and they're getting a lot of help. The water conservation department says it's received hundreds of reports about people wasting water.

    More >>
  • Police Arrest Man They Say Started Several Fires In Fresno

    Police Arrest Man They Say Started Several Fires In Fresno

    Efrain Mendoza was arrested Monday after being recognized by a detective from past surveillance videos.More >>
    Efrain Mendoza was arrested Monday after being recognized by a detective from past surveillance videos.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KMPH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.