News

Small plane makes emergency landing at The Horse Park in Woodside

A plane lands at The Horse Park in Woodside around noon on Nov. 7, 2021. Courtesy The Horse Park.

A small plane that took off from the Palo Alto Airport made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon at a horse park in Woodside, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported after the aircraft touched down shortly after noon in an open area at The Horse Park, 3674 Sandhill Road, according to the Woodside Fire Protection District.

"I was thrilled that nobody was hurt and a couple of horses thought it was kind of exciting," said Steve Roon, executive director of the horse park. "Like 'woah what's that?'"

The plane, a Citabria, was still at the Woodside horse park as of Monday morning, as the pilot investigated how to move it, Roon shared.

The pilot told fire officials that he had to land due to a malfunctioning fuel line, soon after takeoff from the Palo Alto Airport, about 7 miles away. The fire department called the horse park to let them know a plane needed to land, Roon said.

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"It was an amateur pilot out flying and noticed an issue with his plane," he said. "Rather than try to fly back over residential area, he came to land at the horse park."

Planes have landed at the horse park, which is "just a big field with no trees," in the past, Roon noted. He said he considers the park a community resource.

A small plane landed at The Horse Park in Woodside on Nov. 7, 2021. Courtesy Julie White.

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Angela Swartz writes for The Almanac, a sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

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Small plane makes emergency landing at The Horse Park in Woodside

by Bay City News Service and Angela Swartz / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 8, 2021, 9:52 am
Updated: Mon, Nov 8, 2021, 4:19 pm

A small plane that took off from the Palo Alto Airport made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon at a horse park in Woodside, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported after the aircraft touched down shortly after noon in an open area at The Horse Park, 3674 Sandhill Road, according to the Woodside Fire Protection District.

"I was thrilled that nobody was hurt and a couple of horses thought it was kind of exciting," said Steve Roon, executive director of the horse park. "Like 'woah what's that?'"

The plane, a Citabria, was still at the Woodside horse park as of Monday morning, as the pilot investigated how to move it, Roon shared.

The pilot told fire officials that he had to land due to a malfunctioning fuel line, soon after takeoff from the Palo Alto Airport, about 7 miles away. The fire department called the horse park to let them know a plane needed to land, Roon said.

"It was an amateur pilot out flying and noticed an issue with his plane," he said. "Rather than try to fly back over residential area, he came to land at the horse park."

Planes have landed at the horse park, which is "just a big field with no trees," in the past, Roon noted. He said he considers the park a community resource.

Angela Swartz writes for The Almanac, a sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

Comments

cid
Registered user
another community
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:40 am
cid , another community
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:40 am

Incident - Private plane reported unexpected landing in Woodside after leaving Palo Alto. The Members of a Flying Club out of the Palo Alto Airport have been flying over to Half Moon Bay to practice "Touch and Go's" where they circle and land briefly then take off again, repeatedly, for an hour at a tine, then fly back to Palo Alto. I do not know why they come over here to bother us with their repetitive noisy take-offs, and low altitude circling, but we have started to report them, and now it appears several are turning off their transponders so as to not be able to be tracked by the "Flight Aware" software. We have had a plane out of a Sacramento "Flying Club" crash in Moss Beach awhile back, and the female passenger died. Palo Alto Area Pilots, Please don't fly over here in faulty planes. Sunday's incident should be warning enough!
Web Link
another report: Web Link


cid
Registered user
another community
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:53 am
cid , another community
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:53 am

If there is a follow-up story, I would like the reporter to find out where the pilot was heading, if not to HAF (now known as the Eddie Andreini, Sr. Airfield) which is - NOT - in Half Moon Bay but was originally called Half Moon Bay Airport. Moss Beach is 7 miles north of Half Moon Bay in the unincorporated area of San Mateo County. The same town where the infamous surfing wave Mavericks is located (although often mis-represented as in Half Moon Bay as well.)
Web Link


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 1:02 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 1:02 am

Congratulations and thank you to the pilot for his decision to land there and not to fly over heavily populated areas to return to PAO with an uncertain engine condition.


Palo Alto native
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 9, 2021 at 3:23 am
Palo Alto native, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 3:23 am

Thank you cid for reporting this. I too do not like the noisy low flying planes flying over my fine in Palo Alto. I never got to vote for the expansion of PAO. Why do plane owners get unlimited rights while those of us under them have to endure Their noisy, pollution generating fumes. Start thinking about replacing PAO with housing!


generating


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 7:39 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 7:39 am

" Start thinking about replacing PAO with housing!"

Check the floodplain maps - there is no way that housing could be built where the airport is located.

And, having accepted grant funds from the FAA, the city is obligated to keep the airport open for the next 25-30 years.


JR
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:05 am
JR, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:05 am

Palo Alto is under no obligation to accommodate private jets and planes at PAO, many of which are owned by out-of-town millionaires and billionaires. Our patience is wearing thin with non-stop noise pollution and frequent safety incidents.

Thankfully the plane was able to land safely this time, but it's only a matter of time before another fatality happens, or worse. The land PAO now sits on should be returned to nature as an extension of Baylands Nature Preserve.


Bob Wenzlau
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:10 am
Bob Wenzlau, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:10 am

While not the topic, I also support exploring converting PAO to housing. Santa Monica airport redeveloped their private airport. The land is owned by Palo Alto, and likely the 120 acres is a billion dollar asset that offers no return. We serve very few Palo Altans. Land development that anticipates sea level rise will be the new norm. That the airport deposits lead across our community and is an incredible noise nuisance further invites at least asking the question. The airport could offer 4,500 units of housing, and a unique place for engaging with the bay. The topic is worthy of evaluation to examine considerations on either side of the argument, especially when we face both budget shortfalls, climate crisis and a housing shortage. Let's take a look!


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:13 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:13 am

"Palo Alto is under no obligation to accommodate private jets and planes at PAO,"

Wrong - as a long time FAA grant recipient PAO is obligated to do exactly that - subject only to the field length limitations that apply to specific aircraft. PAO cannot discriminate against general or commercial aircraft that are capable of using the current runway.


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:01 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:01 am

"Santa Monica airport redeveloped their private airport."

Wrong - In 2017 Santa Monica entered into a consent decree with the FAA that requires Santa Monica to keep their airport opened until 2028.


Jim Lange
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:16 am
Jim Lange, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:16 am

Speaking as a former military pilot and retired airline captain, there are far too many rank amateurs flying private single-engine planes, many of whom are not instrument rated & shouldn't be flying an airplane in the first place as they endanger the lives of others.

Only those with an ATP (Airline Transport Rating), commercial multi-engine rating, or a skilled military pilot should be allowed to fly an aircraft.

The crashings of John Denver and JFK Jr. (who both had single engine/visual ratings but were otherwise unqualified to fly an airplane) along with countless other air-related mishaps & tragedies speaks volumes.

Perhaps it would be best if all of the wannabe aviators flew radio-controlled model airplanes instead and left the real flying up to the pros.





JR
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:08 am
JR, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:08 am

"Wrong - as a long time FAA grant recipient PAO is obligated to do exactly that"

False. Palo Alto is not beholden to corrupt agreements negotiated in bad faith, and will act in the best interest of its own residents, which may not align with the interests of private jet owning millionaires and billionaires. If you want an airport for your private jet, go build it in your own city. Take notice.


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:26 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:26 am

As an instrument rated, single engine land and glider pilot who has made hundreds of off field landings (Cessna 185) as far north as the Artic Circle I am impressed with both the judgement and the skill that this pilot made in safely executing this off field landing at the Horse Park. Such off field landings are seldom made by either military or commercial pilots - they are very different than landing on a 10,000 ft paved runway.


Bob Wenzlau
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:39 am
Bob Wenzlau, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:39 am

What is exemplified here in all of Peter's responses is that our "Palo Alto Airport" seeks to be controlled by members out of Palo Alto - he asserts a regional interest (not as a Palo Alto resident). Local residents deserve a proportionally stronger voice in our land use choices.

Santa Monica will close their airport and dedicate the land to other uses - Peter's remark is misleading. Web Link This is an important precedent as it shows a community can escape the FAA contract.


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:59 am
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 10:59 am

"Santa Monica will close their airport and dedicate the land to other uses - Peter's remark is misleading."

Wrong - the link cited states exactly what I said "Santa Monica Airport will close in 2028".

"What is exemplified here in all of Peter's responses is that our "Palo Alto Airport" seeks to be controlled by members out of Palo Alto - he asserts a regional interest (not as a Palo Alto resident)."

Wrong - I made no such assertion. The Palo Alto City Council voluntarily submitted numerous AIP requests to the FAA in which the City Council committed to operate he airport for 25 years from the date of each grant. Your elected officials made this legally binding decision and this legally binding commitment.

BTW - During most of my years of flying out of PAO I was a Palo Alto resident and I was appointed by the City Council to represent (and for a number of those years I served as Chair) Palo Alto on the Palo Alto Airport Joint Community Relations Committee. I am no longer an active pilot and I have no affiliation with any PAO activity.



Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:56 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:56 am

The Santa Monica airport used to be the site of MeDonnell Douglas - I used to work there. McDonnell Douglas moved to Huntington Beach in what were fields and now houses. It was bought by Boeing at the time that the US decided to shut down the space business. Now SM Airport enjoys notorierty in many books in which the authors are high end flyers of expensive planes but those authors are now moving their story lines to Burbank Airport. A lot of hi-tech growth in Santa Monica and all of those empty fields which are now being developed - giant stadium there now. Lots of growth changes up the use of land and air rights. flying clubs who use PA airspace needs to get pulled in. That is a commercial business used for a city owned property.


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:05 pm
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 12:05 pm

"flying clubs who use PA airspace needs to get pulled in. That is a commercial business used for a city owned property."

Here is the AIP obligation language that the City Council voluntarily agreed to:
"22. Economic Nondiscrimination.
a. It will make the airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities, including commercial aeronautical activities offering services to the public at the airport."


Cecilia Vargas
Registered user
another community
on Nov 9, 2021 at 1:18 pm
Cecilia Vargas, another community
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 1:18 pm

In the best interests of all non-aviator Palo Alto residents, why not simply close the Palo Alto Airport down and re-direct all of these amateur single-engine visual flight rule pilots to Reed-Hillview in San Jose?

East San Jose is not much of a place and is well-suited for small aircraft providing they do not make any emergency landings at Eastridge Shopping Center.






TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 9, 2021 at 3:56 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Just a big field with no trees? Sounds like a perfect place for high density housing, too. If rich people have to give up their planes, they should have to give up their horses, too! But it's private land, you say? That's what eminent domain is for. Just throw some equity arguments in there, and a seizure would sail through.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm

The airport area is not approproiate for housing. It is in a flood zone - Quit with that comment. It is not a "housing area".

The question is it appropriate as an Airport? A lot of agreements were made way back when but the tidal rise is changing that. No where did anyone agree that the area would become a commercial area available for commercial activity - flying clubs, heliport, etc. You can't get there from here - People are trying to make this a commercial zone for flyers - stop it - not safe or secure. It is vulnerable to high tides and cannot sustain commercial activity.


AB
Registered user
Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:12 pm
AB, Mountain View
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:12 pm

“In the best interests of all non-aviator Palo Alto residents”

People with your interests are not the only people whose values matter.

“why not simply close the Palo Alto Airport down and re-direct all of these amateur single-engine visual flight rule pilots to Reed-Hillview in San Jose?”

Because that suggestion is only simple for people who don’t care about the effect on others. For example, there are people who are trying to close Reid Hillview airport in San Jose and “simply” send those aircraft to Palo Alto.

Another example, why don’t non aviator Palo Alto residents who don’t like small aircraft “simply” live in a town without an airport or an economy that can support so many pilots? There are many less densely populated, less techie areas more suited to their housing. Unless you were born here over 90 years ago, the airport was here before you were.

If you want to minimize air traffic, keep as many airports open as possible to spread it out thinner. If you want less noise, support tech advancements like electric aircraft which most pilots look forward to.

Closing the airport does not stop the flying. It only forces more cars on the road to get the pilots home again. Be grateful for the aircraft being concentrated at Palo Alto while it lasts. What better place than next to a golf course on one side and open water on the other? In not too long, flying cars are going to be landing in your neighbors’ yards and their high school children are going to be flying them to school and you will wish there was still an airport to “simply” send them to.


AB
Registered user
Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:43 pm
AB, Mountain View
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:43 pm

[Post removed; successive posts by same author are not permitted.]


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:32 pm
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:32 pm

"No where did anyone agree that the area would become a commercial area available for commercial activity - flying clubs, heliport, etc."

Every year for over 40 years, when the County owned the airport, they agreed that "It will make the airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities, including commercial aeronautical activities offering services to the public at the airport." and the City has continued to make such agreements every year since is acquired the airport when it applied for a new FAA AIP grant. Those obligations continue for 25 years after the date of the last agreement.

These AIP obligations are bullet proof agreements that have withstood dozens of court challenges.


Kathy Baker
Registered user
Charleston Gardens
on Nov 10, 2021 at 10:49 am
Kathy Baker, Charleston Gardens
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2021 at 10:49 am

Does San Carlos still have an airport? If so, maybe small aircraft can be diverted there instead.

Or simply close the PA Airport and open-up part of Moffett Field to these amateur pilots. There is plenty of runway space and it is conveniently located along the 101, not far from Palo Alto.

Another option...design & fly EV-powered helium mini-blimps instead as it is eco-friendly, non-inflammable, and noise-free.

We have the technology.


PeterCarpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 10, 2021 at 12:38 pm
PeterCarpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 10, 2021 at 12:38 pm

"Or simply close the PA Airport "

Please read the prior postings. The City of Palo Alto is legally obligated to maintain the airport as an airport for 25 years from the date of the latest FAA AIP grant that it applied for and has received. Closing the airport is not an option during that time.


PAUSD parent
Registered user
Southgate
on Nov 13, 2021 at 12:00 am
PAUSD parent, Southgate
Registered user
on Nov 13, 2021 at 12:00 am

I have seen this emergency landing happen live! I was flying overhead on a plane from Amsterdam and saw the white small plane flying really low over the horse park and then land. I told my wife later that day that I was surprised they were using the park as an airport not knowing this was an emergency landing!


Town Square Moderator
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2021 at 12:15 pm
Town Square Moderator, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Editor's Note: The comment below was posted elsewhere by David Meinhardt of Woodside and has been moved here since it relates to this story:

[Jim Lange's comment] claims that no one should fly an airplane unless he/she has an Air Airline Transport Rating, a commercial multi-engine rating, or is a skilled military pilot. That is ridiculous. Is a person supposed to be born with this qualification? One must first have to learn to fly, and, of course, learning requires flying an airplane. Same as learning to drive a car.

Without people learning to be pilots, we would have no airline pilots, military pilots, etc. The person writing this letter makes a statement so stupid as to defy imagination and demonstrates total ignorance of the process of learning to fly. He states he is a former military pilot and retired airline captain. How did he learn?


Lana Berkowitz
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 18, 2021 at 7:44 am
Lana Berkowitz, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2021 at 7:44 am

My cousin was a TAC pilot in the USAF. He learned to fly in the military following preliminary qualification examinations for flight school.

And while anybody can to learn to fly privately, that doesn't necessarily make them skilled pilots.

In the military, recurrent training and re-qualification are mandatory requirements in order to continue flying a multi-million dollar aircraft.

Lastly, most major airlines prefer to hire former military pilots providing they are still in their late 20s.



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