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June 16, 2014
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Plane makes emergency landing on golf course

WOLCOTT — Usually you want to keep goats off your golf course, but a Front Range pilot and his passenger walked away from an emergency landing in high winds on a local golf course.

The pilot didn’t injure himself, his plane or the Eagle Springs Golf Club when engine failure forced him to land his 1994 experimental private plane, known as a “Goat,” on the golf course’s second fairway — a 547-yard par 5.

Just after 11 a.m. Monday, the pilot radioed that his engine was losing oil pressure and he would have to make an emergency landing.

He was flying over the valley when the call came in. The plane had originated in Golden and was headed back to Boulder County when the engine began to fail, said investigators with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

As he was scouring the valley looking for a place to land, he spotted the Eagle Springs golf course in Wolcott. He set the plane down on Eagle Springs’ second fairway, perhaps the best approach ever on that par 5.

A SMOOTH LANDING

The pilot and his passenger both walked away from the incident unharmed.

Witnesses said it was a brilliant bit of flying, that the pilot came in slowly and smoothly, and the oversize tires left very few marks on the fairway. After it was on the ground and everyone was safe, the plane was damaged when high winds pushed it onto one wing tip.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident, said the Sheriff’s Office report.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle County Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire Protection District and Eagle County Paramedic Services worked collaboratively on this incident.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jun 16, 2014 10:12PM Published Jun 17, 2014 05:16PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.