A plane crash at Petaluma Municipal Airport left a biplane overturned and damaged, but its pilot unscathed, after an exceptionally bumpy landing, according to the Petaluma Police Department.
A police statement said fire and police personnel arrived on scene around 2:40 p.m. Saturday to find the pilot out of the plane and unharmed. He told officers that a gust of wind pushed his plane off course as he was bringing the 1942 Stearman biplane in for a landing.
The pilot tried to course-correct before the plane touched down, bounced and veered off the runway. It struck a concrete building and another structure before flipping over and landing upside down, according to police.
“The pilot was properly using his safety equipment,” police said, “and thankfully he was uninjured.”
Photos on the Petaluma Police Department’s Facebook page show a two-seat, single-propeller, sky-blue biplane with yellow wings overturned on a rocky gravel surface. The plane appeared to be intact and in fairly good shape, although small structures near it appeared damaged.
The incident appeared to validate the adage — long attributed to the great test pilot Chuck Yeager — that any landing a person can walk away from is a good one.