Small plane makes mysterious landing in East Palo Alto

No injuries reported in Friday afternoon incident

Police are trying to determine why a small plane landed in a marshy area along the San Francisco Bay near East Palo Alto earlier Friday afternoon, Sept. 16.

The plane, which came down at about 2:45 p.m., is sitting upright on a spit of land in a marshy area south of the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve, according to East Palo Alto police Sgt. Angel Sanchez.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter has landed next to the plan, which Sanchez said appears to hold two people who seem to have escaped injury.

Emergency vehicles are attempting to reach the plane, but the wild nature of the coastline in that area is hindering efforts.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Obviously looking to get an early start on the Moonlight Run! Pleased nobody was injured.

15 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

If you listen to the atc recordings on liveatc you will learn the pilot declared an emergency, then landed in the marsh when it was unable to make it to the airport.

I happen to know the pilot, and he is extremely experienced.

12 people like this
Posted by close PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm

odds are one of these days a plane will crash land in our neighborhood - close PAO- make it into a sporting complex so citizens of Palo Alto actually can use it rather than a few pilots (who by the way pollute our skies with lead fuel)

11 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

Yup, a 20,000-hour pilot with one more story to tell. Interesting day for KPAO tower -- about 90 minutes earlier there was a fluke fatality and resulting traffic impasse on northbound 101 near Willow, bringing CHP and news helicopters and traffic-watch aircraft to loiter in the local airspace with the normal mix of Friday afternoon training and other flight activities. So it was only a couple minutes for Channel 2 to get video and CHP landing next to the little plane parked calmly on the mudflats. Pretty firm ground judging from the people walking around on it. Thanks Chris for pointing me to the liveatc audio archives.

10 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Sep 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

Glad to see no one wash hurt. Kuddos to the pilot. It takes great skill and courage to safely crash land a plane.

Like this comment
Posted by Marc
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm

@close PAO - Unless you're ONLY walking as your mode of getting around, calling out pilots for polluting the environment is kind of like the kettle calling the pot black.

2 people like this
Posted by close PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 19, 2016 at 7:45 am

i actually drive an electric car

You might want to educate yourself about leaded fuel in recreational planes

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