Today, just before 10:30am, a small single-engine plane crashed just outside of Yuma, AZ. The aircraft impacted in a field near the Center of the World in Felicity, California near Interstate 8. California Highway Patrol and Imperial County Sheriff’s Office personnel, as well as Yuma-based Rural Metro Emergency Medical Service and firefighters responded to the scene.
Aircraft flying into Yuma International Airport could hear distress calls from the doomed plane’s pilot, reporting that he had lost engine power and was planning to land on or near the highway. The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the cause of the crash, and will soon be on the scene to clear the area of debris.
Imperial County Public Works has contained and cleaned up a fuel leak from the downed aircraft, but fortunately, the wreck never caught on fire. The plane’s two occupants, who have yet to be named, were found at the scene of the crash injured but conscious. Both were later taken to the Yuma Regional Medical Center for medical attention.
Traffic on the Interstate and nearby Frontage Road was not affected by the crash.
The pilot’s skills should be commended, and it is clear that he remembered his simulated engine failure training. The plane landed away from power lines, there was no fire on impact, and air traffic controllers were given a precise location of his anticipated landing spot so that emergency personnel could be on the scene as quickly as possible. The Arizona aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten wish the pilot and his passenger a quick recovery.