Friday, July 28, 2017

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N73524: Incidents occurred July 25, 2021 and July 28, 2017

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

July 25, 2021:  Aircraft found abandoned on a highway with damage to right wing in Darby, Ravalli County, Montana.

Date: 25-JUL-21
Time: 05:00:00Z
Regis#: N73524
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91

Kacey Shane Gessner, 32, of Helena, waits to appear via video before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray on charges of felony theft after he allegedly stole an airplane in Helena. 

Brittany Rae Treib

Kacey Shane Gessner

An emergency airplane landing south of Hamilton led to the arrest of two Helena residents on felony theft and drug charges.

The small airplane was forced to make an emergency landing on Highway 93 near Lick Creek south of Hamilton about 4 a.m. Sunday.

Kacey Shane Gessner, 32, of Helena, allegedly told deputies that he was forced to make an emergency landing in the stolen aircraft after its fuel tanks malfunctioned. The plane was reported taken from a Helena-area aviation company.

Gessner appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray on the felony charge and five outstanding warrants from Helena city court.

With its tail lodged in the trees alongside the highway, the aircraft was an unusual sight for people traveling the highway Monday morning, including the judge.

“It was the first time in 56 years that I’ve seen an airplane parked at the Lick Creek corner,” Ray said during the short hearing.

Ray told Gessner she wasn’t sure how he managed to make the landing, which knocked over a "watch for falling rock" sign before the aircraft came to a stop.

“I’m a good pilot,” Gessner told the judge.

According to the charging affidavit, the Cessna’s owner said aircraft was a rental. The person who rented the airplane arrived at the airport and found it was missing.

A Ravalli County man contacted sheriff’s dispatch to report he had picked up the pilot and passengers and gave them a ride to a Hamilton motel. 

Ray set bond at $50,000 on the felony theft. The judge also continued more than $23,000 in bond on five warrants from two courts on charges that Gessner failed to appear at several hearings in Helena.

A passenger in the airplane, Brittany Rae Treib, 30, was also arrested on felony charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. She was also charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

A Ravalli County sheriff’s corporal allegedly found a baggie with three grams of amphetamine, four grams of suspected psilocybin mushrooms and two grams of marijuana in a plastic container that contained a photograph of Treib’s Montana identification card in the motel room. 

An adult male was also a passenger in the small airplane and was located at the motel. He has not been charged. 

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton encouraged anyone who may have witnessed any activity in the area to call his office at 406-363-3033. Holton said the case remains active with information still being discovered.

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

July 28, 2017:   Aircraft force landed on a highway in Helena, Montana 

Date: 28-JUL-17
Time: 19:25:00Z
Regis#: N73524
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

HELENA -  A small plane made an emergency landing on Interstate 15 north of Helena on Friday.

Dispatchers received reports of a Cessna 172 having engine trouble just before 1:30 p.m.

The pilot brought the plane down safely near mile marker 211 in the northbound lanes about two miles north of the Gates Of The Mountains exit.

Two people were on board when the plane landed - a student pilot and an instructor. Neither one was injured.

A mechanic from the Helena airport was dispatched to examine the plane and a faulty throttle cable was determined to be the problem.

The Montana Highway Patrol and Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

A small airplane made an emergency landing on Interstate 15 north of Helena after experiencing a mechanical error Friday afternoon. 

After a throttle cable broke during a training flight from Helena, officials said, the trainer got the attention of a semi-truck driver by flying directly above the vehicle. The truck then slowed down, allowing the plane to land in front of it near the Sieben exit about 25 miles north of Helena.

Two people were on board the 1976 single-engine Cessna, and no injuries were reported.

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