Plane headed to SLO crashes

January 16, 2015

Highway_166_airplane_t479A plane headed to San Luis Obispo crashed Friday while trying to make an emergency landing on Highway 166.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., the pilot radioed the San Luis Obispo airport to report the plane was having engine trouble.

Emergency responders then shut down a portion of Highway 166 so the plane could make an emergency landing.

However, the plane came to rest upside down in a riverbed adjacent to the highway.

The pilot, John Butler, 76, of Phoenix and his passenger Pamela Zirion, 67, of San Luis Obispo walked away uninjured from the crash.



  1. Pelican1 says:

    The Super Cub is to Pipers what the Model A was to Ford. Makes a great float plane.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • Downtown Bob says:

      Actually, the CUB was the first popular Piper product, the super cub arrived later as a beefed up cub.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. Kevin Rice says:

    So few details… I wonder why he didn’t use the highway. Much of it is very well suited.

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  3. the guy paso says:

    No fire, probably ran out of gas

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • zaphod says:

      Super cub can glide fairly well without power and powerful enough to tow a glider aloft I hope his cub can be repaired.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Downtown Bob says:

      Just because it did not catch on fire, you assume it ran out of gas? The folks just left the slo airport contrary to this report I doubt they ran out of gas but why make accusations without all the information?

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
      • the guy paso says:

        Speculation, not accusation. Ever think that there are times where Gage’s malfunction?

        Go pick a fight that is worth winning, this ain’t the time

        (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • Maxfusion says:

      Possibly because fuel exhaustion is, inexplicably, a common cause of crashes. That said, the flight from PHX is about 550 statute miles, and the range of a PA 18-150 is 400 nautical miles (460.3 statute miles). In short, the pilot had to refuel the aircraft, and it’s unlikely he would not top up an aircraft that only carries 36 gallons of fuel. Zaphod is correct, the cub has a good glide capabilities at a 70 mph approach speed, that combined with a stall speed of 43 mph makes it one of the safest aircraft to ditch.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  4. Maxfusion says:

    Super Cub, one tough little aircraft.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • wolfhound says:

      Yep, looks like an upside down supercub, or a citabria tc.

      Too bad he didn’t use the old abandoned, sttill usable oil field cayuma strip nearby.
      He probably wasn’t familiar with the area’

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Any landing you can walk way from is a good landing.

    (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      …and TWO of them walked away, so it was a doubly-good landing.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down

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