Plane crashes into Orcutt strawberry field

April 4, 2015

A small plane crash-landed into a strawberry field in Orcutt on Saturday afternoon.

plane strawberryShortly before noon, a man attempted to land the Piper Cherokee Arrow in a field near Clark Avenue and Highway 101 after experiencing mechanical failure.

A father, his son, and the son’s fiancee were on board. The father, who was piloting the plane, sustained minor injuries. His passengers were not injured.

The investigation is ongoing. The pilot’s identity was not disclosed.



  1. r0y says:

    I picture some old farmer running out and yelling, “GET OUTTA MAH STRAWBERRIES!”

    That silliness aside, it was a remarkably good emergency landing!

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

    Appears he did an admirable job ditching the aircraft. The prop appears undamaged which will eliminate having to magnaflux inspect the engine components (very expensive). Not sure about the main landing gear, but the nose-wheel is toast.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • Ted Slanders says:

      Where is the landing gear? Doesn’t seem to be down, and maybe this is part of the cause to land in the fields instead of putting others at risk at the airport?

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
      • catdude says:

        If he landed with wheels down he would have flipped instantly at high speed probly
        killed everyone
        Under the conditions, that was a perfect landing.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      Obviously, one would not extend landing gear in this situation. The gear is probably just fine.

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

    C’mon CCN, the pilot did not “attempt to land”; from the picture, he executed
    a perfect off-field emergency landing…

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. Mr. Holly says:

    Any landing that you walk away from is a good landing. Great decision by pilot to pick this field and make what looks like a perfect emergency landing.
    This may be why you shouldn’t build house along the flight path of the SLO airport.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  5. Mitch C says:

    This was not a “crash”, it was a perfecty executed off-airport emergency landing. The aircraft may even be salvageable. The pilot did an excellent job.

    (18) 18 Total Votes - 18 up - 0 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      Any time that a pilot is forced to bring down a plane when he didn’t want to bring it down is a crash. This was a crash; a forced landing.

      (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      Call it a “well-executed survivable emergency landing.” A “perfect” one would have been a wheels down soft field landing executed on a dirt or paved surface with no damage to the aircraft. Something other than skidding into an agricultural field. My instructor always said the first thing upon loss of power was “pick a field and turn toward it” even before switching tanks, and he meant a suitable off airport landing area, dirt road, highway, etc., not belly into a farmer’s field.

      However, I wasn’t there, probably would have freaked and not done any better than this guy, to be honest. So I’m merely quibbling and splitting hairs with the use of the word “perfect” posted above. Armchair Monday Morning piloting, all I can do after “losing the medical”.

      (-6) 6 Total Votes - 0 up - 6 down
  6. Vagabond says:

    Looks like a perfectly good emergency landing to me. Kudos to the pilot.

    (25) 25 Total Votes - 25 up - 0 down
  7. LameCommenter says:

    Let me glide you down……..

    Strawberrrrrry Fields….

    Alternate Landing Field…….

    Nothing to get hurt about…..

    Strawberry Fields……. Forever…….

    (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      You’ve lived up to your moniker!

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      Let me take you down cause I’m going to, strawberry fields. Nothing is real and nothing to get hung up about; strawberry fields forever.

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

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