Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 12, 2013 Issue
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Jon Dinan | Democrat

The Piper Cherokee Warrior came to rest in a Swan Lake cornfield.

Plane close call

By Jon Dinan
SWAN LAKE — January 25 — Shortly after 4 p.m. on January 21, Richard Davis was playing with his grandson in the living room of his house in Swan Lake, when he experienced something extraordinary.
The walls of his house, in which he has lived all his 68 years, began to shake violently as an extremely loud noise sounded overhead.
When Richard looked out his living room window to see what was causing the commotion, Davis caught a glimpse of single engine airplane making a descent into his brother’s corn field, which has been in the family’s possession since the 1920s.
The field abuts Horseshoe Lake Road, near Davis Road in the Town of Bethel.
“I looked out my living room window and saw a flash of white. It was about 5 to 8 feet above my garage and it was gone in a split second,” said Richard Davis
Richard and his wife Evelyn quickly got dressed and went outside to assess the damage. To their surprise, there wasn’t any. The plane, its pilot and a passenger were all unscathed, a remarkable feat considering the field’s uneven terrain, and the fact that the plane traversed a dirt road running through the corn field – Davis Road – that sits several feet lower than the field itself, creating a treacherous obstacle for the plane.
The Piper Cherokee Warrior flown by Brent Kozura of Pottsville, PA, according to state police, departed Rutland Regional Airport in Rutland, VT and was en route to Schuylkill County Airport in Pottsville when it experienced mechanical problems. Kozura was trying to reach Sullivan County International Airport several miles away.
“I was expecting to see a fireball, said Davis. “How he got across that ditch without crashing is beyond me. It’s just simply amazing how he did it.
“This guy deserves a medal,” Davis added. “He should open his own pilot school.”
According to state police, the airplane did not sustain any damage. The FAA in conducting an investigation into the cause of the mechanical problems and emergency landing.

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