Trio walks away from crash
The pilot and two passengers walked away with minor injuries when their small plane crash-landed Wednesday in an East Carson City field after clipping power lines and starting a small brush fire.
Passenger Ken Gray Jr. said the Cessna 172 four-seater was having lift problems when it clipped power lines at Research Way and Hot Springs Road.
“That damaged our tail,” Gray said.
Shannon Taylor, of Reno, was in Decades Bar, 1475 Hot Springs Road, when she heard a noise.
“I heard it first. It sounded like it was cutting out. It was loud, then it clipped the wires, then the power went out,” she said. Power was knocked out to the businesses on Hot Springs Road and the traffic signal at Goni Road and Graves Lane for about an hour by the 7:09 p.m. crash.
Firefighters quickly contained the brush fire ignited by the fallen power lines.
Taylor said the incident was frightening.
“What was scary was that the plane could have hit us. If it hit two lines instead of one, it would have come through the front door and landed in our laps,” she said.
Gray said the pilot, Alfred Speckman of Reno, attempted to circle for a landing at the Carson City Airport when the aircraft lost power. The pilot crash-landed in a field near the city’s waste water treatment plant on Edmonds Drive, narrowly missing a drainage ditch.
“I’m happy to be alive,” Gray said. He said he and his father, Ken Gray Sr., who owns Gray Photography in Reno, had commissioned the plane for aerial photographs.
Speckman received a cut to his left eye, but other than that and minor bumps and bruises the trio walked away.
Three correctional officers from Northern Nevada Correctional Center were driving past when they saw the commotion.
“No one else was helping. They were just sitting on the side of the road,” said Travis Neighbors.
He and fellow officers Justin Zubieta and W. Bryant pulled their van onto the dirt road to see if they could help.
“They were getting their things out by that time,” said a shirtless Zubieta, who had given his uniform top to the pilot to stem the bleeding from the gash near his eye.
The officers gave the victims a ride back to the Carson City Airport.
The accident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.