Wednesday , June 12 2024

Three Passengers Survive Small Plane Crash in SW Fresno

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<div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Three people are lucky to be alive after a small plane crashed in Southwest Fresno on Saturday.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Fresno Police Department said a 1963 Cessna fixed wing single engine crashed in a ponding basin around 5pm, after the engine lost power. The plane went down near the intersection of Valentine Avenue and Church Avenue. Officials said the plane clipped some power lines on its way down, and PG&amp;E said as of 7pm on Saturday night that more than 150 customers were without power.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Mitchell Cruz lives near where the plane crashed. He witnessed the plane go down and said, &quot;I was on a trampoline and I seen it just fly and hit the wires and stuff, and just crash into the basin.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Cruz said the noise from the crash was like nothing he had ever heard before.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&quot;You can hear the wires snapping and a bang when it hit the ground,&quot; said Cruz.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">But as frightening as witnesses like Cruz describe, no one was hurt in the crash.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Captain Timothy Pilegard with the Fresno Fire Department said, &quot;I think a lot of it went to the experience of the pilot. He took corrective actions as he was landing, and I believe that that saved everyone.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Pilegard said the pilot and two of his passengers, one male and one female, were trying to land at Chandler Airport around 5pm. They were coming from Oceano on the Central Coast, before the engine suddenly lost power. </font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">According to the FAA’s website, the plane is registered to a Fresno man named Robert A. Graham.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Tony Botti, the public information officer with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said, &quot; The pilot thought best thing to do was trying to put it down onto the road to land safely. As he was trying to do that, he nosed up and he didn’t account for some power lines that were running parallel to the road there, and he clipped those lines and that’s what sent him tumbling down off to the side of the road and into the ponding basin.&quot;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">Botti said one of the passengers did suffer minor injuries, but no one went to the hospital.</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><font size="2">The FAA and the NTSB are expected to takeover the investigation.</font></div></div>

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