Town Square

Post a New Topic

Plane makes emergency landing near Palo Alto Airport

Original post made on May 6, 2012

A plane landed in the San Francisco Bay near the Dumbarton Bridge Sunday afternoon after its landing gear failed, according to the Palo Alto Fire Department.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, May 6, 2012, 7:33 PM

Comments (30)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by damage?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Was the airplane damaged? Any toxic spills into the bay?
Glad that no one was hurt.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on May 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This was the second emergency landing at the Palo Alto Airport within the last week. On Tuesday May 1, PAFD responded to the airport when a Cessna Cardinal declared an emergency due to a landing gear problem. The two people on the aircraft managed to land safely, followed down the runway by PAFD Engine 3.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Does PA need an airport?
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

Does Palo Alto need an airport? It seems that the number of accidents that occur over or near dense neighborhoods could be eliminated if the airport were converted to some other more highly useful type of destination.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 7, 2012 at 10:06 am


the Fire Protection District, and the Palo Alto Fire Department, should be charging the airport for these services. This is a county function, and the county, and the airport patrons, should be paying for the costs of these services.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Should the Fire Department charge CalTrans every time (usually at least once a day) that they respond to incidents on the highways?

And while the news report calls this an emergency there was nothing about the event that was an emergency - an amphibious airplane landed on the water, just like it was designed to do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

> And while the news report calls this an emergency there was nothing about the event that was an emergency - an amphibious airplane landed on the water, just like it was designed to do.

Listening to the radio traffic, the pilot contacted the tower and reported a problem with the nose gear on his aircraft. The pilot requested the assistance of emergency personnel and they responded. When the pilot decided to land in the water, Menlo Park was dispatched to deploy their air boat. Although the pilot landed safely in the bay, emergency personnel were concerned that the pilot would leave the plane and get stuck in the shallow water and mud, necessitating another rescue. It appeared that PAFD needed to deploy a ladder and rope to help the pilot get ashore. This certainly wasn't a typical scenario. The Palo Alto Airport has no facilities for water landings.

In Tuesday's incident, the pilot reported a problem with the landing gear. Although the tower did not feel the situation was an emergency, they contacted PAFD and Palo Alto responded with a full structure response. The pilot was asked to circle at least once so that PAFD could deploy resources and get foam ready. As I posted earlier, Engine 3 followed the plane down the runway when it landed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

And they want to EXPAND the airport? Not only will it increase noise and polution, but also these types of emeregencies and crashes such as the one in East Palo Alto. Time to put this facility to rest. Use San Carlos or Reid-Hillview.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

For airplanes and their occupants airports are the most highly useful type of destination.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

As I have posted many times before

LET's GET RID OF THE PALO ALTO AIRPORT ASAP ! -

* it is a danger to people and the city.

* the land could much better be used for some higher purpose, recreational.

* the noise from the airplanes makes the rest of the area of the palo alto baylands almost unuseable, certainly unpleasant for peolpe who want to use it for recreation.

* there are other reasonable alternatives for airport services in the area what we see here is the typical abuse of power by airplane owners forcing the risk and unpleasantness onto the rest of us because they have more political power, connections and clout.

the existence of the palo alto airport is an abuse of palo alto citizens.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by long time resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I totally agree with Anon. in Crescent Park.
In addition, probably at least half of the airplane owners don't even live in Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"probably at least half of the airplane owners don't even live in Palo Alto."

And even more of the people who shop and work in Palo Alto don't live in Palo Alto so they should simply be banned.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on May 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm

What do the Palo Alto shoppers and workers bring to the community, overall, that the airplane owners/users of PA airport don't? How much crossover is there- do the airport people shop, dine and bank in Palo Alto? In other words, where's the added value that's measurable?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"do the airport people shop, dine and bank in Palo Alto?"

Yes, as much as do others who either live in, work in or just visit Palo Alto.

And realize, given the PA Comprehensive Plan, that if there were no airport that this land could not be used for any other purpose except non-revenue generating open space.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on May 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Yes, that's what I was thinking about - the non-revenue generating space - but that would allow more people (maybe) to enjoy that area of land.

It'd be interesting to see hard data about how much money pilots and employees of the airport bring in, just out of curiosity. Historically, people who work but don't live in a city still spend a considerable amount of money there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

" if there were no airport that this land could not be used for any other purpose except non-revenue generating open space."

Excellent idea! Why should Palo Alto lose money operating an airport for the benefit of the privileged few? If the land is going to cost us, then it should be open for everyone to enjoy it.

But don't worry about the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan. City Hall amends it whenever it gets in the way of a favored project.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Why should Palo Alto lose money operating an airport"

It doesn't lose money and it won't - the airport will generate a positive cash flow as well as benefiting the community in other ways.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by VoxPop
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

As I said on another airport-related thread, those who call for the closing of the airport would do well to check the FAA rules and regulations governing airports (they're online). It is not easy to close an airport; if closure is approved, it could involve paying the FAA a large sum of money and perhaps returning the land to the FAA. What then?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" those who call for the closing of the airport would do well to check the FAA rules and regulations governing airports"

Sadly this Forum has a non-existant threshold for speaking out without either knowledge or experience. It is far too demanding to expect posters to do any homework or to provide facts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Peter Carpenter, you really do drone on a lot about how other people do not have any right to their opinions. I don't need to do any "homework" other than living in Palo Alto to know that the airport is a liability and does not serve the city, except for a very few.

You, yourself, wrote a length about how the airport management refused to take your advice to make it mandatory to take a right turn at the end of the airport over the bay instead of LOW over the city of East Palo Alto, and now you change your tune as it that didn't matter and attack and belittle anyone who dares express themselves on their dislike of the airport.

It is dangerous and eventually will again have another crash - most likely worse than the last crash into the day care center in East Palo Alto.

It is loud and unsuited for a natural area such as the Palo Alto Baylands ought to be. How much fun is to go out there with friends and family and hear nothing but noise as the airplanes constantly fly overhead preventing any normal conversation or fun from taking place. This is why over the years as the airplane traffic has gotten more frequent and louder there is virtually nothing recreational going on at the Palo Alto Baylands anymore. It is pathetic how Palo Alto wants to keep a green socially conscious image, but apparently image is all the city government and the powers that be care about - because the reality is that the facilities at the Baylands are awful at this point.

The Palo Alto Airport ruins the whole bay front of Palo Alto so a very few can impose their risk and noise on the rest of us. Surely there is no other defense for the airport to remain but attacking those who dislike it based on some facts you like to say we do not know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Ellis
a resident of University South
on May 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

My wife and I live part-time in Palo Alto, where we pay property, sales and utility taxes. I often use a small airplane to commute back and forth, as do other businesspeople and area residents. We all try to be respectful of the neighbors, follow the noise abatement procedures, and fly safely and carefully.

Before the airport is turned into parkland, I would suggested it be be used to build a power generating facility. You see, Palo Alto gets all of its electricity from somewhere else, which means residents of other neighborhoods and cities must put up with the attendant noise, pollution and safety risks.

Part of the price of a modern, civilized society is having to tolerate a certain amount of annoyance we'd rather have go away. Reasonable people figure out how to compromise. That's what's called for here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"other people do not have any right to their opinions."

Everyone has a right to their opinion, but not to their imagined facts. Hopefully that can state their opinion as an opinion and present facts only when those facts are correct.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vijay
a resident of Mountain View
on May 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

The 101 freeway is a major source of noise, pollution, and has fatal accidents every few days, often resulting in the death of children. Let's close it too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charles
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

From the comments I read here I am pretty sure that most of you dislike the airport and small planes in general. I would offer up the fact that cars make more noise, pollution and cause more deaths in one week then planes do in a ten year period. Lets ban cars and use the streets and parking lots for wonderful bike paths, large gardens to help reduce the CO2 content of the air and eliminate those dangerous and evil cars that kill innocent children and the elderly in ever growing numbers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

It really does not matter what cars do or do not do.

People need to get around and cars are a necessity for everyone.

Airplanes are not, and for those for whom airplanes are important there can be other alternative airports.

Power generation could be looked at, but what on earth do you think would fuel a power plant in the middle of a major area like Palo Alto nuclear? coal? Probably natural gas, so generating natural gas elsewhere is not that much of a problem for others.

By the way, when the last time a car plowed into a power tower and caused a city-wide blackout.

I invite anyone anywhere in Palo Alto to stand outside someday and listen to the number of small planes that fly overhead. Also in the middle of the night airliners fly over Palo Alto very low which I think they are not supposed to do. Go out into your yard some early morning and listen the noise that is caused by large airliners cheating and going low over our city to save fuel. You will be surprised because when you are asleep and they fly over rattling your house by the time you are roused and wake up they are gone and you do not really notice what woke you up.

It's time Palo Alto started to get back the pragmatic American small town community that it used to be instead of a corporate test site for Stanford NeoCons hotshots.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 8:24 am

This debate saddens me, but the comment about Palo Alto being a small town amuses me. Yes, we like to think that it has a small town, community feel, but we are not a small town.

We are a community within a large urban area. We share many facilities with other communities within this area. We have an airport which other communities share with us. They have retail, recreational facilities and business services which we don't have so we share theirs.

The airport is an asset for the communities, just like Shoreline Theatres (ampitheatre as well as movies), big box stores like Costco and Target, and numerous useful businesses (Lazerquest, office supplies/computers, restaurants, sporting outlets, boat/windsurf rentals, etc.)

Our airport is on the verge of starting new business ventures which will be useful to PA residents as well as others in the urban community in which we live. In fact it could and should attract more businesses and residents, eg. a high tech company may decide to locate near a small airport for its convenience. Service providers such as restaurants or space providers should benefit from its proximity to the airport.

Instead we have people who it is quite apparent have no idea what happens at the airport just arguing for the sake of arguing and screaming to shut it down. I personally have little first hand knowledge about the airport, but I know ordinary people who work in businesses that operate out of the airport. I can also see the possible future benefits and business opportunities that this asset can bring not only to Palo Alto but also to the surrounding community.

If those who think it should be shut down want to live in small town, backward thinking America, then that is where they should move. Except, many small towns in the quiet middle of nowhere also have small airports quite close. They may not have neighboring communities that can provide them with what they don't have though. Unless of course they wish to drive or even fly to them!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

> This debate saddens me, but the comment about Palo Alto being a small town amuses me.

Resident, If you are product of Palo Alto schools that saddens me your reading comprehension needs a bit more focus. No one said anything I can find about Palo Alto being a small town

My quote was:

> It's time Palo Alto started to get back the pragmatic American small town community that it used to be instead of a corporate test site for Stanford NeoCons hotshots.

We are not so big that we cannot maintain a citizen-oriented community instead of having corporations rule over every decision.

I don't think the Shoreline theaters pose a risk of crashing into anything either so your analogy there is a bit flawed.

You can see now that no one, or very few people want to go out and spend recreation time where there are constantly loud planes flying overhead. And having them flying over houses at the rate of failure were are seeing just about guarantees that at some point we will another crash. The last crash was actually a lucky break, a warning to us about the airport, which those self-centered people who own airplanes want to gloss over and make fun of.

I can tell you have little knowledge of either the airport of the Baylands. We have a huge fantastic resource actually waterfront property, which is rather scarce in this country and state, and is made useless by the existence of a dangerous airport in a very populated zone.

I can only imagine you are thinking in the abstract and not tying your point of view down to the real people in a real city with real decisions to optimize. The number of people that NEED to fly every day or urgently is so small that maintaining and airport in the face of the risk and unpleasantness it brings is an exercise in dumping risk on those who have no political voice unfairly.

If you look at Mountain View and what they have done with their Shoreline Park it puts Palo Alto to shame.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If you look at Mountain View and what they have done with their Shoreline Park it puts Palo Alto to shame."

Palo Alto instead choose to covert a land fill into an utterly featureless open space. Adding even more land to that vision would be a true waste.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Crescent Park Anon has missed my point entirely.

Shoreline in Mountain View is a wonderful facility and yes sometimes we get noise and traffic problems but I don't see it being a problem. However, we share that facility. We use the movie theatre and the ampitheatre. We watch their fireworks. We fly our kites in their kite park, use their lake for activities and enjoy their bike paths. They don't mind us Palo Alto residents using their facility as much as their own residents. It is a community, regional resource.

On the other hand, some people are thinking of an idyllic small town America feel whereby each town has its own attractions and no one else must be let in. I mean those who think our airport should be closed because so few PA residents use it.

Balderdash. Let anyone who wants to use it, use it. Let them come to Palo Alto, use our airport and its facilities and pay to do so. Then let them shop at our luxury mall, eat at our expensive restaurants and stay in our expensive hotels. Unless of course you want to close the Mall because so many out of towners shop there!

PS I am not a product of the PA schools, but I think I can read and write a better argument than others who may have.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by noneedsmallairport?
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I agree with Wayne Martin.
Unless you can tell me more...what are the positives truly?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by stay informed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

The ammount of uniformed conversation on this comment board is abysmal. I'm not here to debate for or against the airport, that needs to be left to an INFORMED populous. However for those reading this comment thread that don't really have time to research each comment/fact, they need to be aware of two things. First, most of the arguments on this thread in favor of the airport, outside of the philosophical topics, are mostly accurate. I stress mostly accurate. Secondly, most of the arguments on this thread against the airport, outside of the philosophical topics, are wrong, skewed wrong or flat out wrong. Seriously people don't make a comment about fact or implied fact unless you know what the heck you're talking about. For the general public you don't need to listen to me, but please do not listen to the biased and uniformed positions on this comment thread. Thank you.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Cho's, beloved dim sum spot, to reopen in Los Altos
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 5,979 views

Why I Became Active in Palo Alto Forward
By Steve Levy | 12 comments | 2,331 views

Early Decision Blues
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 1,980 views

Guest Post from HSSV: Adopt a Naughty Dog!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 1,526 views

First Interview
By Sally Torbey | 10 comments | 1,145 views