Father And Son Survive Emergency Plane Landing In Utah County
GENOLA, Utah – A small plane has crashed in southern Utah County, according to Cpl. Rich Glenn with the Santaquin Police Department.
The crash happened Thursday afternoon in the northwest part of Genola, near the southern edge of Utah Lake.
Glenn said the pilot told police everyone onboard the four-passenger aircraft was OK.
“It happened directly in front of my house,” said neighbor John Carson. “It was definitely crazy. It was more of, like, that shock factor, that, ‘Holy cow, it was an airplane and not a toy.'”
Police said the pilot deployed the plane’s built-in parachute, which softened the landing.
“Instead of a little G.I. Joe man, it ended up being an airplane swaying back and forth,” Carson said.
The plane had taken off in Salt Lake County on a flight bound for Phoenix, but it encountered unexpected troubles once in Utah County.
Glenn said preliminary information from the pilot indicated the plane crashed due to a motor problem.
“The oil pressure went to zero,” pilot David Powell said. “We just weren’t getting power, but on the way it was pretty obvious we just weren’t going to make it.”
The situation grew more dire by the second.
“At that moment, we saw smoke coming out of the engine, and we knew that was it,” Powell said. “Found a field, put it over, pulled our parachute and came down.”
Powell and his son, Zach, may have been very experienced pilots, but they’d had little experience with a situation like this – outside of a flight simulator.
“It’s a little bit on the violent side at first,” David Powell said. “The nose goes down and then it pops back up, and then you just gently float down.”
“It’s like when you slam on your breaks,” Zach Powell added.
With only minor injuries to the plane, the father and son are grateful it ended the way it did.
“This is the most exciting day we’ve had,” David Powell said. “… The fact is that we walked out of it with, really, nothing wrong with us. It could have been a lot worse – a lot, lot worse.”
The FAA is investigating the incident.
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