Man Survives Plane Crash into Mud

Flight to Illinois cut short.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr.com/maynard
    A man walked away after his plane crashed into mud flats near the Dumbarton Bridge on Saturday.

    A man in his 50s walked away unscathed after his plane crashed into mud flats near the eastern end of the Dumbarton Bridge Saturday.

    The pilot of the single-engine Cessna 140 reported a loss of engine
    power around 12:40 p.m. after taking off from the Palo Alto Airport,
    Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

    The man piloting the plane, a retired commercial pilot with about
    30,000 hours of flight experience, was planning on going to Illinois, but
    instead tried to turn around and make it back to the airport, Menlo Park Fire
    Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.

    But the plane didn't make it back and landed in soft mud near
    the bridge shortly after 1 p.m.

    The plane overturned after the crash landing, but the pilot, the
    only occupant of the plane, managed to get out safely.

    An "Everglades-style" rescue boat from the Menlo Park Fire
    Protection District, the only one in the South Bay, responded and rescued the
    man, who appeared to be uninjured, according to Schapelhouman.

    The fire district worked with state Fish and Game and U.S.
    Coast Guard officials to handle fuel and oil that was leaking from the
    upside-down aircraft, Schapelhouman said.

    There was about 21 gallons of fuel and five gallons of oil on the
    plane.

    The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating
    the crash. Schapelhouman said authorities were still deciding this afternoon
    whether to remove the aircraft from the site, or leave it there for federal
    investigators.

    The plane is registered to a Menlo Park man, but it is unknown
    whether he was the pilot. The owner will ultimately be responsible for the
    cost of the cleanup, Schapelhouman said.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.