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"Pilot run over by his own plane at Paradise airport"



Friday, October 21, 2005

Pilot run over by his own plane at Paradise airport
By GREG WELTER
The Chico (CA) Enterprise-Record

 
PARADISE - A pilot was injured at the Paradise Skypark Airport about 3:30
p.m. Thursday after he started his plane by manually turning the propeller,
then was unable to reach the cockpit before it broke loose from its tie
downs. 

Witnesses said Paradise resident Gilbert Ferrera tried to stop the plane, a
1946 single-engine Luscombe, by holding onto a wing as it started moving in
a circle on the airport tarmac. 

Dave Harmacek, also a pilot, said Ferrera then tried to control the plane by
holding on to the tail, but he was struck as it swung around and knocked to
the ground. 

"We was out cold," said Harmacek, who also tried to stop the plane by
holding on to a wing. 

The aircraft reportedly continued to circle, then went nose-first over a
berm beside the runway, flipped over and slid about 50 feet down a steep
embankment. 

Ferrera was transported by ambulance to Feather River Hospital, where a
spokeswoman said he would be treated for minor injuries and released. 

The plane, which is considered to be in the antique aircraft class, appeared
to suffer moderate damage in the accident. Pilots who witnessed the mishap
said pulling it up the embankment could possibly damage it more. 

A crane was on its way to the airport late Thursday afternoon to attempt
retrieval. 

Butte County Fire/CDF Capt. Mike Santuccio said the airplane developed a
small fuel leak in the accident. Fire crews planned to remain at the scene
until the airplane was recovered. 

It wasn't immediately determined if the Federal Aviation Administration
would investigate the incident. 

Attached Photo:

An airplane flipped over after it escaped from a pilot attempting to start
the aircraft by manually spinning the prop at the Paradise airport Thursday.

news_21_02.jpg


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