Small plane crashes near Eagle County Regional Airport, no one injured |

Small plane crashes near Eagle County Regional Airport, no one injured

Officials: Pilot was executing "base turn" when he lost his engine

Vail Daily staff report
A small plane crashed Friday afternoon just east of the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Pam Boyd |

GYPSUM — A pilot landed on a curving road after his engine failed east of the Eagle County Regional Airport on Friday afternoon and walked away uninjured.

He even managed to pilot the plane off of McGregor Drive and park it in an open field filled with sagebrush.

The pilot, whose name was not released, was the only person aboard the six-person Cessna Centurion, said Kris Friel, Eagle County’s communications director, in a statement.

The man’s plane is based in Telluride, Friel said, and was approaching the Eagle County airport on a flight from Montrose at around 12:30 p.m.

The pilot told authorities that he was making his approach to the Eagle County airport, and while he was executing a “base turn,” he lost his engine. A base turn is executed by an aircraft during the approach to a runway, as defined by Aviation Glossary.

After determining he couldn’t make the runway, the pilot declared an emergency and landed on McGregor Drive, which curves uphill along his flight path.

During his emergency landing, the Cessna clipped a light pole and sheared off the end of the plane’s left wing.

Responding agencies included Eagle County Airport Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Vail Public Safety Communications Center and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

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