Emergency Landing Near Copano Bay

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  1. TxEMTP69

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    Feb 17, 2009
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    http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11402086&nav=menu192_2


    REFUGIO COUNTY - An emergency landing in Refugio County Wednesday afternoon is now among three aviation emergencies this week in the Coastal Bend.
    Just before 2:00, a pilot having engine trouble had to set his plane down in a remote area west of Holiday Beach, just across Copano Bay.
    Authorities in Refugio county tell us the flight took off from Fort Worth this morning heading to the airport in Corpus Christi.
    Just before 2:00, they began receiving reports of a plane down somewhere in the Copano Bay area, prompting a frantic search by state and local officials using binoculars and radios.
    But the terrain was thick and mostly inaccessible.
    The plane was finally found on the northwest side of Copano Bay, having landed successfully on a dirt road inside a private ranch.
    It was a 1968 Piper Arrow, carrying the pilot and two passengers.
    The pilot was Souphaph Phonthaasa of Haltom City near fort worth.
    His passengers were Mary Thorton and Gilberto Torrez of Fort Worth, and they were headed to Corpus Christi on business.
    Ranchhands assisted the three on the ground until authorities could reach them to take them out.

    The plane, still intact, was left on the ranch in what authorities described as a very swampy area just off the Bay.

    The pilot and passengers were fine and refused medical treatment.
    They were first taken to the Refugio County Sheriff's Department, and then they were brought to the Aransas County Airport, but not to get another plane.
    This time they rented a car to finish their last leg of the trip to Corpus Christi.
    The pilot hopes a mechanic can get the plane in flying condition tomorrow.
    If that is possible, he plans to take off from that ranch road, because there is apparently plenty of room.
    The FAA said it will probably won't conduct a direct investigation into the incident, but will follow up with the pilot and others to document what happened
     


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