Plane Goes Down Near Redlands Municipal Airport
A pilot and his passenger were able
to exit their downed 1946 Commonwealth Friday and walk 200 feet
down an embankment to meet rescue workers.
According to Redlands, CA police spokesman Carl Baker,
police were unsure which man was the pilot, Benjamin Phillip Cook,
26, or Robert Lee Graham, 56.
The crash of the 60-year old two-seater propeller plane occurred
shortly before 2 pm. The red bodied-craft with pale yellow wings is
operated with a joystick, according to Baker.
According to the Press-Enterprise, the men had taken off from
the airport and were heading to Rubidoux when they started
experiencing mechanical problems.
"They weren't gaining altitude. It appears that they turned
around and tried to land back at the airport and didn't make it,"
The plane hit the ground at the Cemex plant, slipping 40 feet
before landing at the top of a 200-foot embankment, he said.
The occupants called police from the plane after a witness had
erroneously reported the crash as happening on the runway.
Both were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening.
One man complained of hip pain and lacerations.
Redlands police's new Cessna patrol plane helped responders
reach the victims; the patrol plane rerouted responders after the
original call had sent police to the airport.
"They were pretty shaken up," Baker said of the victims. "We
needed to get out there right away and it was crucial that our air
unit was up there."
The FAA and NTSB are investigating what caused the crash.