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>>

  • Problems With College Financial Aid Applications

    Problems With College Financial Aid Applications

    Students awarded a Pell Grant or other federal financial aid may want to double check those applications. Tens of thousands of students could have that money taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form. The mistake was a part of the online form for the free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA. When filling in the income portion of the form, many applicants unnecessarily entered a decimal point that the system ignored. The error then disqualified students who were eligibl...More >>
    Students awarded a Pell Grant or other federal financial aid may want to double check those applications. Tens of thousands of students could have that money taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form. The mistake was a part of the online form for the free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA. When filling in the income portion of the form, many applicants unnecessarily entered a decimal point that the system ignored. The error then disqualified students who were eligibl...More >>
  • $500 Reward For Help In Fresno Firearms Crackdown

    $500 Reward For Help In Fresno Firearms Crackdown

    Fresno Police are also in the middle of a push to get stolen firearms off the streets.If you help them out, it could get you $500.After a 10-day operation, police arrested Angel Cordova for being a felon in possession of a firearm.He told police he was protecting himself after his brother was shot a couple of days ago.More >>
    Fresno Police are also in the middle of a push to get stolen firearms off the streets.If you help them out, it could get you $500.After a 10-day operation, police arrested Angel Cordova for being a felon in possession of a firearm.He told police he was protecting himself after his brother was shot a couple of days ago.More >>
  • Sam's Shoe Store In Reedley Celebrates 100 Years In Business

    Sam's Shoe Store In Reedley Celebrates 100 Years In Business

    Sam's Shoe Store has been a fixture in Downtown Reedley since 1914. The patriarch Sam Parichan was a shoe cobbler in Armenia who came to America when Reedley had muddy streets in the winter. Ralph Parichan,More >>
    Sam's Shoe Store has been a fixture in Downtown Reedley since 1914. The patriarch Sam Parichan was a shoe cobbler in Armenia who came to America when Reedley had muddy streets in the winter. Ralph Parichan,
    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.