Friday, March 21, 2008

Unconfirmed: large plane down in Butte County

UPDATE: No Aircraft down -
Butte Sheriff canceled, calling it false alarm after contacting pilot. CDF canceling. Apparently a large milair plane was flying low and witnesses saw it clip tree top?...

Downed aircraft -
Butte County - Not officially confirmed

[SCANnorCAL] large plane down in Butte County? - "Possibly C-130 down in Magalia."

Staging is Skyway at Coutolenc. Looking for sheered tree tops etc.
Butte H1 is looking for it.

Comms:Traffic on calcord.
151.400 CDF
156.075 calcord
155.940 SAR response

Follow up news story:

Plane crash draws emergency response to Magalia

A reported plane crash in Magalia Friday afternoon turned out to be a false alarm.

While a helicopter searched the area, emergency personnel waited at Coutelenc and Larter roads for an update on the supposed crash, which was reported at about 3:30 p.m. Butte County Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers interviewed Gary McElroy, a resident on Larter Road.

"Right now we have a chopper up there looking," said Butte County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Lydon. "If it turns out to be a false alarm, then it's a false alarm."

McElroy said a green C-130 four-engine plane was flying low over the area headed east toward Concow. C-130 planes are commonly used by the military and Coast Guard, and are similar in size to the Aero Union planes used to dump fire retardant on fires

McElroy said though the plane was flying low, he didn't believe the plane was in trouble because its engines sounded fine. He said the planes can commonly be seen in the area, but usually not that low.

However, McElroy said his neighbor called in the emergency because she claimed the plane clipped a tree and was wobbling. A Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire unit from Stirling City went down the Paradise Bowhunter's Range road to search for the plane. Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire Capt. Greg Bull said there was initially a report of a small aircraft, but was able to confirm that a C-130 was flying in the area at the time of the report.

Greg McFadden from Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire said C-130 planes have been flying in and out of Chico all week. He said the plane suspected of causing the ruckus was inbound to Reno and was waiting for a confirmation.

Butte County Sheriff's Lt. Al Smith said the department received about 10 reports of the low flying planes from citizens. About 45 minutes after the initial report, he was able to confirm that there was no crash.

He said the plane landed in Reno, Nev. where they were able to make contact with the pilot.

"There was no plane crash," Smith said. "We talked to the Air Force and the pilot said he was flying low in this area, but didn't touch any trees."

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