Author Topic: Single-engine plane makes emergency landing on Bryden Canyon Golf Course  (Read 1077 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Two men walked away from an emergency landing at about 11:15 a.m. today at Bryden Canyon Golf Course after the aircraft they were flying lost power when it was taking off from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

The pilot, JR Luper, is a Lewiston flight instructor who was conducting a lesson in the area for a student, said Lewiston Airport Director Mike Isaacs, at the scene.

The student was Jeff Uhlenkott, 52, of Grangeville.

“(Luper) tried initially to land back on the (airport) and knew he wouldn’t have the altitude, so he ended up picking the field here at the golf course,” Isaacs said. “... He wasn’t high enough to turn back.”The only damage to the aircraft or property happened when a wing tip of the single-engine Cessna 172 hit a tree limb, he said.

“They did a great job,” Isaacs said. “We’re just very fortunate no one was injured. (Luper) is a very skilled pilot with lots of flight time. That probably attributed to the relatively uneventful emergency landing.”Luper and the student were met by emergency crews from the Lewiston Fire Department, Lewiston Police Department and the airport.

The student, who had taken eight to 10 lessons, is willing to go again, said Luper, who began flying in the 1970s and has been an instructor for a decade.“You train for it all the time,” Luper said. “You train students that if something does go wrong, there’s tools to deal with it.”

The fairway where the plane landed was at the golf course's 11th hole, which was closed for about one hour, said Thomas Flowers, an employee of the golf course’s pro shop.

O’Connor Road that runs between the golf course and airport was also closed briefly this afternoon while the aircraft was returned to the airport on a trailer after, Isaacs said, it was cleared to be removed by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Matt Mosman, owner of Frontier Aviation, a business at the Lewiston airport, said the plane belongs to him.

Like Isaacs, he had praise for Luper.

“In my mind, it could have been a whole lot worse if (Luper) hadn’t been behind the yoke of that aircraft,” Mosman said. “I don’t know what would have happened.”The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident, according to a news release from the airport.