Photo: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On May 26, 2019, at about 6 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Jerold Phelps Hospital in Garberville for the report of a plane crash survivor.

Upon further investigation, deputies learned that the survivor, a 48-year-old Garberville man, had been practicing taking off and landing alone in his 1970s-era Cessna plane at the Garberville Airport. According to the man, the plane’s engine reportedly lost power, causing it to crash into trees. The man was able to walk up a bluff to Sprowl Creek Road, where a passerby then picked him up and transported him to the hospital.

The man was later transported to an out of area hospital in critical condition for further treatment. 

On May 27, at about 7:35 a.m., deputies located the plane in a thicket of trees near the 1800 block of Sprowel Creek Road. 

This incident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO).