Student Pilot makes emergency landing - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Student Pilot makes emergency landing

October 31, 2007

Albany - A student pilot makes an emergency landing Wednesday, putting the plane down without damage to it or himself.

Bob Tilley of Albany is finishing up his pilot training. Wednesday, he was in a cross-country flight in a Cessna 150. After taking off from the airport in Dawson, his engine failed.

Tilley was in route to Fitzgerald, but turned back toward Dawson when the trouble began. He spotted a private airstrip off Winifred Road in Lee County and tried to land there, but couldn't make it. He had to move over into a cotton field, but amazingly didn't do any damage to the crop, the plane or hurt himself.

He said, "I followed the instructions and landed as softly as I could." Reporter Karen Cohilas said, "You did a pretty good job."  Tilley responded, "I'm pretty proud of it. The trees were getting real big though."

Col. Duane Sapp with Lee County S.O. said, "It's very easy in a situation like this to lose your head and panic. He didn't do that. He did everything right and you see what happens when you do everything right, you walk away."

Tilley believes a valve snapped off the engine, causing it to fail. The planes owner notified the FAA about the incident.

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