BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – An unlikely landing with a very fortunate ending. Authorities say the pilots who were aboard a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft Thursday morning are very lucky to be alive.
“I don’t have any details as to what caused it but apparently there was a mechanical malfunction and the engine stopped,” said Jim Caldwell with the Baton Rouge Metro Airport.
The pilots who were aboard the plane declined to comment but said they are blessed to have walked away from the crash with no injuries. They said they were on their way back to land when the aircraft malfunctioned. Caldwell said it was an instrument landing gone bad.
“You’re simulating a real cloudy day where you are using your instrumentation on board the aircraft in conjunction with the airport’s instrument landing system,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell said an instrument rating allows a pilot to be qualified to fly when there aren’t clear skies. Renewing takes some training, unfortunately, this training ended with an engine failure a short time after take off.
“Particularly smaller aircrafts can glide a certain distance relative to their altitude but they don’t have a lot to work with when they’re low like he,” said Caldwell.
According to FlightAware, the flight took off at 8:40 a.m. and landed at 8:52 a.m. In less than 15 minutes, clipping some trees into a nearby field. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still trying to piece together what exactly happened.
“He wouldn’t have had any other options, at that point you can only glide as far as your altitude will allow and he didn’t have a lot of altitude so he did a great job,” said Caldwell.
The NTSB will be investigating this crash. The plane is a total loss.