Friday, January 22, 2016

Cessna 172P Skyhawk, N52106: Incident occurred January 21, 2016 in Macedon, Wayne County, New York

Date: 21-JAN-16
Time: 18:38:00Z
Regis#: N52106
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Rochester FSDO-23
State: New York


MACEDON — “Hell, I’ve got a plane in the back yard.”

That’s what Brian Pulcini said when he looked out his window and discovered a single-engine Cessna about a stone’s throw from his hilltop home that overlooks the village of Palmyra.

According to New York State Trooper Sergeant D. Lester, it was about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday when the single-engine Cessna experienced an engine malfunction, likely related to the cold weather, and was forced to make an emergency landing. The plane was over the village of Palmyra, heading west on a business flight from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Rochester, when the carburetor “froze up” and the engine cut out, he said.

Touchdown, in a small field off of Quaker Road near O'Neil Road, was classic, leaving the pilot and one passenger, both from Bedford, unharmed and the plane undamaged.

“It was kind of real quiet, engine off, gliding, then we made a couple moves to take away some speed and we just kind of found the perfect place to land,” said passenger Richard Medeiros. "It was just as easy as landing in an actual airport — believe it or not."

The plane touched down not far from its final stop, its momentum slowed when it ramped up a fairly significant hill, grazed a large bush, and spun around before coming to rest.

Pilot Jeremiah Coholan estimates he was cruising at an altitude of 5,500 to 6,000 feet when he saw the clouds building up.

“So I put in a request to Rochester for lower altitude while I could still see holes in the clouds," he said. “At about 1,800 feet — which is just below the clouds — the engine starting running really, really rough, getting rougher and rougher,” said Coholan. “And then it just quit."

Medeiros said that was the moment he knew the flight was “pretty much over.”

“We knew we weren't going to land on pavement — it was going to be in a field somewhere,” he said.

What was running through Coholan’s mind as he searched for a place to land?

"Don't die or kill my friend,” he said. “Basically, it was — you know — to remember my training and aviate, navigate and communicate, in that order basically."

It was shortly after the successful emergency landing that Pulcini saw two people come running up his driveway — they’d watched the plane go down.

“I thought somebody lost their dog and they were looking around,” said Pulcini, who never heard the landing because the engine was off.

 “Right now we’re trying to determine what to do with the plane,” Lester said Thursday afternoon. “The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is going to inspect it and see if it’s safe to operate. If it is, we’re going to have to determine where it’s going to fly from. I don’t think we have quite enough length here to do that.”

Lester said the plane may have to be trailered or taken apart and moved — plans were “kind of up in the air” — but either way he was “sure it’s going to be expensive.”

“He wants to fly it out of here right now,” said Pulcini. “But that can sit there till spring and it won’t bother me.”

Seth Pulcini, Brian’s son, took Coholan out on the family’s four-wheeler to scout for takeoff options. Eventually a makeshift runway was plowed out in the cornfield.

But with the plane's carburetor still frozen, that was not to be.

“No bueno," said Coholan. I was hoping I'd be able to take off — it would have been one hell of a takeoff."

According to Lester, Medeiros continued on by car, most likely because “he’d had enough flying for one day.”

“Nobody’s hurt and you know what? Footprints in my yard don’t bother me,” said Pulcini. “Dinging the little bush over here don’t matter. Who cares? Everybody’s safe.”

Story and photo gallery:

An iced-up engine forced a small plane headed to Rochester to land in a Macedon backyard Thursday.

Pilot Jeremiah Coholan and passenger Richard Medeiros felt the engine seizing up as ice clogged the carburetor on their Cessna aircraft while they approached the Rochester area from New Bedford, Massachusetts, at around 1:45 p.m.

“Once it got below the clouds, it ran rougher and rougher and rougher,” said Coholan.

He quickly looked for a place to land and found a small backyard field area off of Quaker Road near Macedon’s village center. Neither passenger was hurt during the emergency landing and the plane was not damaged.

Federal Aviation Administration representatives came to the scene to inspect the plane, according to New York State police, who assisted at the scene.

While there was a fleeting thought of possible catastrophe in Medeiros’ head, the landing seemed like it would go well as they approached the field, he said.

“It was just as easy as landing in an actual airport,” he said. “It was just a little bit more like, ‘What do we do now when we get out of the plane?’”

Story, video and photo gallery:

MACEDON, N.Y. (AP) The pilot of a single-engine plane safely landed in a backyard field at western New York home after the engine iced-up during a flight from Massachusetts.

Pilot Jeremiah Coholan and passenger Richard Medeiros took off from New Bedford Thursday and were approaching the Rochester area around 1:45 p.m. when the engine of their Cessna began seizing up as ice clogged the carburetor.

Coholan says he looked for a place to land and found a small, snow-covered field behind a home in the Wayne County village of Macedon, 10 miles east of Rochester.

The plane landed safely. The two men weren't injured.

State police say Federal Aviation Administration representatives went to the scene to inspect the plane.


Wayne County, N.Y. - A small plane flying into Rochester experienced trouble and landed in a field in Wayne County Thursday.

The plane was traveling from Massachusetts to Rochester when the carburetor froze up.

The pilot told radio towers in Rochester that he would not be able to land at the airport.

The plane then landed safely in a field on Quaker Road.

There is no damage to the plane and no one was injured.

The pilot is waiting for approval from the FAA before he can take off.

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