WHITE CITY, Ore. – Two people were injured in a small plane crash in the Sams Valley area on Tuesday evening, deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office revealed in a statement. The plane went down while approaching Beagle Sky Ranch Airport.
Just before 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, dispatch received a call from someone who lives on Dodge Road saying a small plane crashed in their yard. They added that one person was hurt.
Deputies and Fire District 3 responded to the scene. A Mercy Flights helicopter transported the plane’s passenger to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. The pilot went to the hospital by private car. A dog riding in the plane was uninjured.
The plane was a 1976 Cessna T210L. Federal authorities are investigating the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are aware of the crash.
Steve Pankonin, Owner of Steve's Aircraft and longtime plane mechanic, said the pilot told him the engine started vibrating in mid-air and gave out, forcing him to crash land.
"It's not common for an aircraft engine to quit, but they do, just like any other vehicle, they can quit, but that doesn't happen very often no, but unfortunately that's what happened here," Pankonin said.
He said a crash like this is rare, and it's not always possible to predict when something might go wrong.
"We do all the inspection procedures and stuff to try and eliminate any potential possibility, but there's no guarantees, it's a mechanical piece of machinery," Pankonin said.
He said the pilot did everything right, landing the plane on flat ground with the wings level.
"He's been at it for a long time, and he put the airplane down the best place he could, and he did a good job of it. When it happens like that you have a real good chance of walking away without many problems," Pankonin said.