Pilot survives plane crash into vineyard


A Fresno man survives after crashing his small plane into a vineyard. It happened around 2:30 Monday afternoon near Floral and Cedar Avenues. 

The owner of this grape vineyard isn’t harvesting the fruits of his labor. Instead, he’s lending a hand to a pilot who crashed his plane. The man made it out of the wreck without injuries but his plane is left upside down in vines.

Authorities say the man experienced engine failure while flying 4,000 feet in the air. He wanted to land at the Selma airport but couldn’t make it.

“He then tried to land in the roadway here but due to oncoming traffic, he was unable to do that as well so unfortunately he ended up in the vineyard,” said Lieutenant Brent Stalker of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Feet away from drivers on the road of Floral Avenue.

“He’s lucky as heck. More lucky that he didn’t take out some houses around here,” said Art DeArmond who lives nearby.

FAA officials investigated the scene for hours trying to determine the cause of the crash. Deputies say the pilot handled the deadly situation well.

“You lose power, I mean that’s the first thing you want to do is find a place to land and that’s why out in the country like this. It does make things a lot easier,” said Stalker.

Teamwork finally got the plane out of the vineyard and towed away. DeArmond says he’s grateful the plane didn’t crash into his home or the two others his family lives in.

“Three houses. Mine, my son and my nephew who lives next door. Scary,” said DeArmond.

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