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Local pilot survives plane crash at Nevada County Airport

A Cessna 172 hit the overrun beyond Nevada County Airport’s Runway 7 during routine touch-and-go practice Sunday afternoon.

A pilot walked away unscathed from a crash landing at the Nevada County Airport Sunday afternoon.

According to the airport’s manager, Kevin Edwards, the flier crashed his Cessna 172 into the overrun beyond Runway 25 during touch-and-go practice.

“Right after he took off he was in a pattern,” Edwards said, referring to pilot practice involving a series of sequential take-offs and landings. “He was up here getting kind of current, developing a proficiency.”

Edwards said the pilot temporarily “lost situational awareness” when his radio went out and was left with two options for landing, neither of them smooth.

According to Edwards, the pilot noticed some of his equipment was not working and made the decision to return to the airport. Amid the stress of troubleshooting aircraft technology mid-flight, the pilot temporarily lost situational awareness.

The pilot landed long, Edwards said, just off the steep runway overrun. The aircraft tipped up on the right wing, amid the overrun’s dirt and shrubbery, but the pilot inside was fine.

“He walked away, so no injuries at all,” Edwards said. “He actually refused medical services.”

Edwards said planes can be repaired after accidents like this one, but does not think the damage sustained in this accident can be repaired. Fortunately, this particular Cessna 172 was not one of the private planes Cal Fire employs to fight fire threats in the area.

Edwards said the runway’s overrun exists for a reason, and no fire began as a result of the plane crash.

Edwards said any time an accident can be attributed to a pilot error, it has to do with situational awareness.

“Sometimes you don’t have time to react,” Edwards said.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

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