Plane makes emergency landing on ridge after engine failure, passengers unharmed |

Plane makes emergency landing on ridge after engine failure, passengers unharmed

Two men were unharmed after their plane had to make an emergency landing near the town of Washington early Wednesday, officials say.

Authorities responded around 8:20 a.m. to a report of a plane crash near Gaston Road, sheriff’s Lt. Sean Scales said. Personnel from the Nevada County Search and Rescue Team, the Sheriff’s Office, and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene and located the two passengers of the aircraft, who were reported as safe.

Neither man was publicly identified. The pilot was 84 years old, and the passenger was 73 years old. The passenger had a very minor injury to his hand, sheriff’s Lt. Jason Perry said.

The two men had been flying from Yuba City to Reno at the time of the incident, Perry said.

The plane, a 1965 Cessna 172 private single-engine aircraft, had minor damage from the emergency landing. The landing gear was torn off and one of the wings also was damaged, according to CHP Officer Jason Bice.

The crash appears to have occurred due to engine failure, Perry said. The plane’s pilot was apparently attempting to gain a higher elevation when the aircraft’s motor began to struggle, making audible sounds that the pilot interpreted as indicative of engine failure. At that point, the pilot made the determination to attempt an emergency landing.

The plane’s pilot was able to navigate the aircraft to a brush-covered ridge near Gaston Road that acted as a suitable landing space, with no people or structures nearby. When the plane landed, one of the wings struck a tree, which caused the plane to spin around before coming to a stop in a thicket of brush, according to Perry.

“It was really the only place in the area that they could have landed,” Bice said, adding that the pilot appeared to have performed the emergency landing procedure correctly.

The National Transportation Safety Board is going to interview the pilot to determine if any further inspection of the plane or investigation of the incident is necessary, in accordance with government protocols regarding such incidents, Perry said. It was possible that the Federal Aviation Administration could conduct its own investigation as well, he added.

The Cessna 172 aircraft landed near Gaston Road in the Washington area.
Submitted by sheriff’s Lt. Jason Perry

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User