Forced landing near Rockcliffe

About three hours ago, a homebuilt Zenith 250 lost power after takeoff from Ottawa/Rockcliffe (my home airport) and made a forced landing in a wooded area a couple of miles east of the airport (CBC News story).

It’s a big flying club, and I don’t know the 68-year-old pilot, but the fact that he walked away uninjured suggests he did a good job getting the plane down. The news story says that the plane landed “nose down” — it might have settled nose down, but I doubt that it initially made ground contact that way when the pilot wasn’t hurt. Still, there was nothing annoying, obviously inaccurate, or sensational in the story, which is a good sign — no discussion of “narrowly missing” houses and schools only half a mile away, etc. Good for the CBC!

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8 Responses to Forced landing near Rockcliffe

  1. Marc Patry says:

    Hi, the Zenith that went down today was my Fathers, Gerry Patry. Just to let you know the plane he was flying did actually come down nose first, well kinda at an angle, steep angle, but still nose first. The reason he escaped injury is because he got hung up in the trees and the plane didnt actually hit the ground, only 3 feet off, and the fact that he equiped his plane with shoulder harnesses(very lucky). My Father has been a pilot for going on 50 years now and intentionally avoided the houses and school once he reallized he wasnt going to make it back to Rockliff. If it had been a less expeirenced pilot this may have had a very different outcome. Im just glad he walked away.

  2. david says:

    Thanks for the comment, Marc. I guessed from the story that the pilot had done a great job — landing in trees with no injury — and I appreciate the extra information. I hope that the plane is repairable.

  3. Marc Patry says:

    Well Im pretty sure he is going to part it out. He is 68 and that plane has been a 6 or 8 year “headache” for him lol. Hes just happy he is alright, as we all are. He has another plane to fly anyway. The plane is back at the flying club for the next few days.

  4. Tony Hunt says:

    Marc (& Gerry): My sons & I had seen your Zenith on the ramp at Rockliffe for several years. My boys always told me it was a “neat” airplane and wondered when they would see it fly. My younger son showed me a copy of the “Metro” newspaper with a photo of the plane on the front cover, hanging from the trees, three feet off the ground. Not a dignified position for any plane, but I am glad that Gerry did the right things and got himself back to earth without injury to himself or others.

    I’m glad Gerry still has his enthusiasm for flying and wants to get up again soon. Hope to see you both around CYRO again soon.

  5. Marc Patry says:

    Thank you for the kind words.

  6. Jack says:

    Your father is a really lucky guy. Good thing he had 50 years of experience. I’m sure this won’t stop him from flying. So what caused the accident?

  7. Marc Patry says:

    Turns out it was the crank censor. Anyone running a Subaru engine in their homebuilt should look into this.

  8. david says:

    Thanks, Marc — Jeremy told me about that at the club. For a car, it might make sense to shut down the engine if there’s too much crank vibration, but it’s a horrible idea for a plane, obviously.

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