Cessna airplane crashes in Merced County
MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A single-engine plane was headed for Castle Airport in Merced County when the pilot reported engine trouble.
The Cessna came down in a field at Bellevue Road near highway 59 around 6:30 pm Saturday.
It's owned by the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics out of Castle Air Base. An official with the flight school said the pilot was a student who was flying for his required solo flight hours.
What everyone is waiting to figure out now is exactly what type of engine failure brought this plane down.
The plane crashed into a wide open field. Another pilot flying nearby spotted the flipped over aircraft.
Merced County Fire Department Battalion Chief Gabriel Santos said, "The pilot was circling in the area and the ground resources in the area noticed that. He was able to communicate with the tower exactly where the air craft had gone down."
Santos says once fire fighters located the plane the pilot was already out of the wreckage walking around on his own.
"The pilot was standing outside the aircraft and stated that he was a solo pilot, no passengers and that he was fine," Santos said.
Santos says the pilot reported touching down safely, but the plane only made it about 30 feet before hitting an irrigation ditch.
The front tire buckled causing the plane to flip over.
"It sounded like the pilot did a great job with reporting the incident and just being able to put the aircraft safely on the ground before the engine completely died out," Santos said.
The pilot is said to be doing well.
The flight school says he was performing his last of 10 required solo flight hours when the plane went down.
Emergency responders say it's amazing the plane didn't catch fire. The overturned plane will remain in the field until investigators with the NTSB arrive on Monday to begin their assessment of what brought the plane down.
merced, merced county, local, rick montanez
- Deputies shoot at suspect after patrol car rammed 5 min ago
- Senator: CIA improperly searched computer network
- California AG promotes bills to reduce truancy
- Trash dispute apparently led to fatal shooting
- Interpol shows image of 2 Iranians on missing jet
- Photos: Countdown: The 25 highest-paid musicians
- Photos: 'The Bachelor' Season 18 finale in pictures
- Robot helps in design of High-Speed Rail
- George the Giraffe thanks kind students
- 'Sextortion' suspect set for freedom
- Search widens for missing Malaysian passenger jet
- Madera Co. shooting tied to drugs, investigators say
- Homeowners asked to prepare for busy fire season
- Clovis man gets prison time in laser-pointer case