NASHELLY CHAVEZ – THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A small plane made an impromptu landing Thursday afternoon in northwestern Sonoma County near Lake Sonoma, drawing a large search party for the downed aircraft, which resulted in no injuries to the lone person aboard.
The incident, which was called in as a plane crash, was reported by the CHP at 4:29 p.m. to Redcom, the county’s dispatch center, with a given location near Dry Creek Road and Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road, northwest of Healdsburg.
The report drew Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies, a CHP helicopter and firefighters with the Cloverdale, Dry Creek Ranceria and Northern Sonoma County fire districts to the area, where they eventually found the plane on a ranch near Cooley Ranch Road and Rock Pile Road, Northern Sonoma County Fire Chief Marshall Turbeville said.
“It was on a sandbar,” Turbeville said of the plane. “Luckily the water was low, so there was an area that was kind of flat to land.”
Deputies also located the plane’s sole occupant, who was uninjured and had walked to a nearby home after the unplanned landing, Turbeville said. It did not appear that the plane was damaged, he added.
The Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation into the cause of the Zenith CH701’s landing Thursday afternoon, said Ian Gregor, an agency spokesman.