FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. – A light plane crash on San Juan Island in northwest Washington has critically injured the 76-year-old pilot.
San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou said the pilot, from Eastsound on Orcas Island, was trying to land on a grass airstrip Friday afternoon when he caught power lines with his landing gear as he neared the runway. The ripped power lines broke at least two nearby utility poles, dropping live wires that sparked a small wildland fire.
In Seattle, a Harborview Medical Center nursing supervisor confirmed Friday night that the man, Richard Bach, was in critical but stable condition.
The sheriff said the pilot was alone in the Easton Gilbert Searey aircraft. The plane is registered to a Richard D. Bach.
The plane was found upside down in a field about two miles west of Friday Harbor.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.
Plane lands on I-5, taxies down highway
BELLINGHAM – The pilot of a small plane that landed safely on Interstate 5 in Bellingham, after developing mechanical problems, said the aircraft was headed for its annual maintenance checkup.
No one was hurt Friday afternoon, although the single-engine Cessna 182 clipped a blue car on its way down.
Pilot Tony Dulley, of Spokane, told the Bellingham Herald that moisture in the air “iced” his carburetor and cut off fuel to the engine. Dulley was flying from Spokane to Bellingham with his girlfriend, Shelby Rush.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Brandon Lee said the plane taxied on the freeway until it could exit and ended up at a gas station.
Authorities later allowed the plane to taxi along Pacific Highway to the Bellingham airport, a distance of nearly 4 miles.