San Jose Doctor Makes a Crash Landing in Firebaugh

March 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A physician who was piloting a small plane from Palm Springs to San Jose made an unexpected stop in Firebaugh.Joan Oloff said she ran out of gas over the small town in Western Fresno County, and called 9-1-1.

She circled a couple of times looking for the town's small runway before the plane's engine sputtered and died.

She managed to glide the plane toward the airport, but fell short.

"I thought I was doing really good gliding in, and then once it got to a certain altitude it just kind of sucked it down and I couldn't glide anymore."

The plane came down in a plowed cotton field two hundred yards short of the airport and about 100 feet from Highway 33.

Oloff, who is a physician, was not hurt.

Thanks to her phone call to 9-11 rescue crews were ready but not needed. Fresno County Fire Department Spokesman Chris Christopherson was among those on the scene.

"We're really lucky she was able to land it down in a plowed field soft plowed field she didn't come down on any major streets no one was injured, she wasn't injured."

Oloff is thankful the plane came down in one piece and that she was not hurt. She said she has been flying for about a year and said she's going to take awhile to think about whether she wants to fly again.

Federal investigators are expected at the site of the crash landing on Tuesday.

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