Amazing Forced Landing In Alaska
It's a pilot's worst
nightmare, the dilemma one hopes to never face. The pilot of a
Spernak Airways Cessna 207 goes engine-out over water. The only
place to land is an athletic field. There are children playing
baseball on one part of the field, soccer on the other.
Time is critical.
Where does the pilot set down?
Who has to die?
No One Has To Die.
Seth Siver of Wasilla (AK) was one of four people onboard the
207 as it was crossing the Cook Inlet near Anchorage (AK) at 8:13
p.m. Thursday night. "We were coming across the Inlet and the
engine died. He (the pilot) got it started and it died again,"
The pilot made for the Anchorage Football Stadium. There, kids
were playing a baseball game on one part of the field and a coed
soccer game on the other. The pilot decided to "thread the needle,"
setting down on a running track between the two games.
At the baseball
diamond, the players and about 500 fans looked up to see the
crippled Cessna flying low and getting lower. Witnesses say they
shouted at one another to get out of the way. The 207 reportedly
came in from the west, touching down on the running track and
plowing through a fence. "The minute it hit the fence the engine
came right off," said baseball fan Donald Raney, a veteran pilot,
in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News. "Instead of crashing
and killing, he hit the fence."
Siver said the aircraft flipped once, landing on its belly. The
207's empennage was crushed. The left wingtip and the wheels were
sheared away in the landing.
How good was the unidentified pilot? Raney said he put the
aircraft down 75 feet from a parking lot full of cars and 100 feet
from the baseball park's left field bleachers. Now that's threading
The unidentified pilot and two passengers, reportedly brothers
from Colorado, were slightly hurt in the forced landing. They were
taken to an area hospital. Siver walked away without a scratch. No
one on the ground was injured. The Spernak Airways flight was
headed to Merrill Field in Anchorage. There was no indication of
where the 45-minute flight had originated.
The FAA Preliminary Report
Make/Model: C207 Description: 207
(Turbo)Skywagon 207, (Turb)
Date: 08/01/2003 Time: 0414
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
None Mid Air: N Missing:
City: ANCHORAGE State: AK Country:
ACFT INBOUND FROM WEST, CRASHED PRIOR TO REACHING MERRILL
FIELD ARPT. ANCHORAGE, AK
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 2 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: PAMR METAR 010450Z 28008KT 10SM FEW060 18/06 A3003
Activity: Business Phase:
Landing Operation: Air Taxi (On
Dep Date: Dep. Time:
Destination: MERRILL FIELD,
AK Flt Plan:
Last Radio Cont: OVER WEST HIGH SC
Last Clearance: CLRD TO LND ANY RWY
FAA FSDO: ANCHORAGE, AK
Entry date: 08/01/2003