Emergency crash landing at Fresno-Yosemite airport

June 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A two-person Cessna 210 made an emergency landing Sunday at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport due to landing gear issues.

The pilot had to make an emergency crash landing at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

The emergency landing caused several flight delays after shutting down the runway. Luckily, the couple inside the aircraft was not injured.

"It did a lot of damage to the airplane but hey, we're in one piece," said Jim Simonian. He and his wife, Eileen, walked away from a crash landing at FYI Sunday, without any injuries.

The couple flew out of Selma's airport that same morning to have Father's Day breakfast at Harris Ranch when they noticed something wrong with their Cessna 210.

"When I left, I noticed that the landing gear didn't come up properly and I tried to put it back down again and it didn't work," said Jim Simonian.

The Fowler City Councilman and stone fruit farmer has been a pilot for 40 years but never encountered a problem this severe.

"You train for this kind of stuff and so I didn't like it. But I didn't exactly start screaming at the top of my lungs either," said Jim.

Jim said he then handed over the controls to his wife while he read the emergency manual and called for help. "I'm okay. It was quite an experience," said Eileen Simonian.

Emergency crews directed them to land on FYI's runway. "We landed and we rolled out. It was just like a normal landing except the wing dipped and it kind of took us around," said Jim. The plane was damaged but he and his wife were okay.

The crash shutdown the airport's only functioning runway delaying outgoing flights while rerouting incoming flights.

"We came here on the other side to see if we could take a look and find out what was going on. And then my wife called me and told me they were going to be in Bakersfield for at least 2 hours," said Timothy Simmons of Clovis. His wife's Phoenix flight was rerouted from Fresno to Bakersfield.

Despite the entire ordeal, the Simonian's had a positive attitude about the situation. "We're still going to go have breakfast. How does that sound?," said Jim.

It took airport crews several hours to remove the aircraft and reopen the runway.


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