Pilot attempted to make emergency landing after plane, on maiden voyage, lost power

The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — An experimental airplane crashed partway through its maiden voyage Saturday morning, closing a portion of C Street Road near the intersection of Wright Brothers Boulevard in rural southwest Cedar Rapids.

The plane — a Berkut 540 — was on a test flight just before 9 a.m. when it lost power and the pilot and lone occupant, Vijay Pisini, 50, of Cedar Rapids, attempted to make an emergency landing, according to a news release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Pisini said he turned the plane north, saw no traffic on C Street Road and was going to attempt an emergency landing, the release states. As the plane descended, its left wing caught on a road sign while going down the road, shearing off a wing and causing the plane to enter the west ditch. It came to rest on the driveway of 9100 C Street Rd. SW.

Emergency responders were called to the scene at 8:56 a.m. They found Pisini already out of the plane. He sustained no injuries, the release states.

There was a minor fuel leakage at the time of the wreck, according to the release, but at no time was there a fire. A portion of C Street Road was closed for about three hours to photograph the scene and clean up debris, the news release states.

The plane was removed from the scene and taken to a hangar at The Eastern Iowa Airport for further investigation.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene. They included Cedar Rapids police, fire and airport police, along with Linn County Rescue, Linn County deputies, Linn County Emergency Management, Area Ambulance, Ely fire and Fairfax fire.