Petaluma police and fire personnel responded to find the student pilot and flight instructor outside the plane, police said.

By Maggie Avants

PETALUMA, CA — A flight instructor and his student pilot escaped injury Monday when their small plane crashed at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, according to the Petaluma Police Department. The crash involving a four-seat Cessna happened at about 11 a.m. on the eastern runway, police said.

Petaluma fire and police personnel responded to the plane crash and found the student pilot and the flight instructor outside the aircraft and uninjured, police Sgt. Nick McGowan said in a news release.

“During the investigation, it was determined the landing equipment was not engaged when landing the aircraft,” McGowan said.

The aircraft landed on its belly and slid approximately 685 feet down the asphalt runway prior to coming to a stop, according to police.

The student pilot, a Santa Rosa woman, and the flight instructor, a Cloverdale man, left the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport on Monday to practice landing.

They did not experience any problems in the air but it appeared the student pilot neglected to engage the landing gear when they reached the Petaluma airport, McGowan said.

The crash damaged the front propeller and the underbelly of the Cessna, the sergeant said.

The incident has been referred to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation, police said.