Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cessna 175A Skylark, N8051T, Skylark Aircraft LLC: Incident occurred July 20, 2017 near Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN), Gallatin County, Montana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Helena, Montana

Skylark Aircraft LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N8051T

Aircraft force landed in a field and went into a ditch.

Date: 20-JUL-17
Time: 16:39:00Z
Regis#: N8051T
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C175
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: BOZEMAN
State: MONTANA

The third leg of their cross country air trip was going well. Cody Barnett had the controls of the Cessna 175, Thomas Seros was sitting next to him. They left Couer d’Alene early Thursday morning and coasted over mountain ranges with ease. By mid-morning, they started their descent into Bozeman.

They were second in line to land at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and about seven miles away when the engine started sputtering.

“We both look at each other, we’re like, ‘This can’t be good,’” Barnett said.

Barnett is 22, Seros is 19. Both are licensed pilots. They played with the air and gas mixture going into the engine, a quick fix for problems that arise when a plane is descending.

It didn’t work. Seros restarted the engine three times, and that didn’t work. They were losing engine power, and they didn’t know how to fix it. Seros took the controls and Barnett started trying to fix the problem. A few miles later, the propeller quit.

They didn’t talk, didn’t freak out. They stayed focused, even though they knew the plane wasn’t going to make the runway. Another landing spot would have to do.

A green field with a pivot pointing east stood out among the houses.

“I called it and I said, ‘We’re going down in the field,’” Seros said. “’We’re not going to make it, we’re going down in this field.”

The Cessna’s wheels hit the ground and the plane rolled until it hit an irrigation ditch. Barnett and Seros popped open the doors and jumped out. Police cars, fire engines and an ambulance drove up Spooner Road to find them. Airport personnel showed up, too.

Neither man was injured. There’s nothing but a few dents on the plane. Nothing caught fire.

“It was so lucky,” Seros said a few hours later, sitting in a coffee shop in Bozeman.

The action happened in a matter of three or four minutes, from sputtering engine to emergency landing. Mechanics from Arlin’s Aircraft Services came to look at the plane and eventually towed it away. The two men spent the rest of the day giving their story to the Federal Aviation Administration and letting their families know they were OK.

Brian Sprenger, the director of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, said emergency landings like this are unusual, though the airport has tried to ensure there’s enough open space for emergency landings in its immediate area. Sprenger thinks the two men made the right choice.

“He found a suitable field that he felt comfortable landing at,” he said. “I think he made the right choice.”

The two men live in Phoenix. Barnett is a student at Arizona State University and works at a drone company. Seros studies at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and works at a local airport.

Barnett has been a licensed pilot since 2012, Seros since February. Both own planes. Seros bought the one they flew here about a month before their trip.

“This is my first really long flight with it,” he said.

They’d planned a three-stop tour of Montana and northern Idaho. They were in Polson on Sunday, Couer d’Alene on Tuesday. Bozeman is the last stop before they head back to Phoenix.

They were scheduled to fly back to Phoenix on Saturday, but that may change. Mechanics are still working on diagnosing the problem with the plane.

Barnett suspects it might be fuel blockage. They left Couer d’Alene with more than enough gas, and there was still gas in one of the tanks after they landed. But they can’t be sure.

“Until the mechanic tears it apart, no clue,” Barnett said.

Whatever it was, the two men are glad the engine trouble didn’t happen earlier in the day, like when they were flying over mountain ranges. Pilots are trained to deal with emergencies like this, and though each has been flying for less than a decade, they’re pretty sure they did it right.

“We literally ran through everything that we’ve done, and we did it correctly,” Barnett said.


http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com


BOZEMAN -  

UPDATE: 7/20/17, 2:50 p.m. 

According to airport director Brian Sprenger, the Cessna 175 was carrying two people, who were uninjured in the incident.

The plane reportedly suffered extremely minor damage to the engine cowling.

The cause of the emergency landing was engine failure, according to Sprenger. He said the pilot had to make a decision and found a wheat field that would work for them to land on since the plane would not have made it back to the airstrip. An irrigation ditch eventually stopped the plane.

The incident has been turned over to the FAA and NTSB who will determine if further investigation is needed.

Sprenger said no other traffic to the airport was disrupted.

A small plane made a rough landing in a field about 1.5 miles northwest of a runway at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Mark Taylor of Rocky Mountain Rotors said he flew out to see if the pilot and passenger were OK, both occupants gave him the thumbs up.

The incident remains under investigation. We have messages into both the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the airport and will update the story when more information becomes available.

http://www.kbzk.com



BOZEMAN – A plane made an emergency landing near the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on Thursday morning.

The plane landed about 1.5 miles from the airport due to engine failure said Airport Director Brian Sprenger. The plane reportedly suffered only minor damage to the engine cowling.

Sprenger said the pilot had to make a decision and found a wheat field that would work for them to land on since the plane would not have made it back to the airstrip. An irrigation ditch eventually stopped the plane.

The Cessna 175 was carrying two people, who were uninjured in the incident.

Mark Taylor of Rocky Mountain Rotors said he flew out to see if the pilot and passenger were OK, both occupants gave him the thumbs up.

The incident has been turned over to the FAA and NTSB who will determine if further investigation is needed.

Sprenger said no other traffic to the airport was disrupted.

http://www.ktvh.com





A plane made an emergency landing in a field near Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on Thursday morning.

The plane landed west of Spooner Road north of Belgrade after a report of engine failure. The plane was upright in the field.

No one was injured.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Central Valley Fire Department and AMR ambulance service were at the scene.


http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

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