MORE PICTURES: Plane Lands Safely at the Concord Naval Weapons Station – No Injuries Reported

August 29, 2014 18:48 pm · 29 comments

As we previously reported, a plane made an emergency landing at the Concord Naval Weapons station this evening.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Both Craig Cannon and one of our friendly photographers named “ratstalker” were able to capture a few images, and “ratstalker” has a few more details about the emergency landing.

The aircraft was an older ercoupe in absolutely stellar condition. Pilot reported possible fire, north of the field. Tower told ConFire the aircraft was down “on a rd near hwy 4”. The plane landed between the Kinne Bridge Overcrossing and Lynwood Dr. The pilot did a bang up job landing. Doesn’t look like ANY damage to aircraft! He was obviously OK, talking on phone, I was the first person there. Sheriff helicopter overhead about the same time I got there.

Thanks again to “ratstalker” and to Craig Cannon for the pictures!

The Closer August 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I guess the ilot is just PLANE lucky he was able to land in the field. Good job.

The Closer August 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Oops. Pilot

SpiritDog August 29, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Better he landed in the field than on the roof of one of the houses. I saw a helicopter and now I guess I know what it was for.

SpiritDog August 29, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I wish this site had an edit button for comments. Please.

Craig Cannon August 29, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Had a Converstation with The “Well Seasoned” Pilot as he left the Plane Sight. His Trouble Began Near Bay Point. The Engine Started Sputtering Out, and He Immediately Started Looking for Landing Area’s. He Said the Choice was a Hilltop, Between Baypoint and Concord, or The Slightly Smother Zone He Chose. He Motioned to a Rugged Hillside, Just East. “Keeping the Nose Down to Gain Speed, Prevents Stalling”. He Noted, many crashes don’t end Well, because Some Pilots Stall, Slowing The Craft, Thus Dropping. Tip The Nose Down, Always. He Also Mentioned a Couple Years Back, having his Previous Aircraft Stolen at Concord. This is The Replacement. He Said This Craft is Based in Concord, Also. He was Very High Sprited, a Skilled and Lucky Man.

anon August 29, 2014 at 7:45 PM

He should maintain his aircraft better.

Phoenyx August 29, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Passed that on our way to get some dinner. I was impressed that there was no damage and everyone looked okay. We’ve lived here for 20 years, never saw something like that.

Craig Nelson August 29, 2014 at 7:58 PM

So how’s he going to take off again? Or is the plane going to have to be hauled out by other means?

Between what happened last night and this today, living out here on Willow Pass Rd. has been somewhat frustrating lately.

Miss Pearl August 29, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Oh @Craig Nelson – why can’t you just be thankful the plane did a safe emergency landing and everything is well?
Emergencies happen everyday, everywhere, not just on Willow Pass.

ConcordMike August 29, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Plane was still there at 8:15pm when we drove by.

Michelle August 29, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Saw this, was this a military plane or civilian?

Schmee August 29, 2014 at 8:57 PM

I love confire called him a skilled pilot (no sarcasm). It’s a cool story

ratstalker August 29, 2014 at 9:11 PM


I’m guessing you have never, ever had car trouble? Stuff happens.

ClayDen August 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Nice job doing what all pilots are trained to do. This airplane was designed with safety as one of its key requirements. Getting it out shouldn’t be a big problem, as it only weighs about 750 pounds empty.

Any landing that you walk away from August 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

is a good one. Nice job. It can be dicey coming over Willow Pass in the afternoon with a decent amount of chop down low. I haven’t flown an Ercoupe before, but I understand they are pretty easy to control. Of course that would assume that you have power to help you control the aircraft…

Jesse August 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM

ClayDen, how will they get the plane out of there? Will they fly it out or put it onto a flatbed truck? Is it too big to take over surface streets?

John August 29, 2014 at 10:37 PM

I just walked by that airplane at the airport this morning on my way to my plane. I noticed how the position lights (red and green) were reversed. Red goes on the left! Regardless, glad he’s okay. That had to have been scary.

Anonymous August 29, 2014 at 10:45 PM

There is an old airstrip there .If they let him he can probably take off.

Tom August 29, 2014 at 11:07 PM

He’s an insurance agent, as well as a nice guy.

I’m glad he’s okay.

ClayDen August 29, 2014 at 11:22 PM

@Jesse 16

I suspect they will remove the wings and put it on a flatbed truck. I’m not very familiar with the Ercoupe (though I am a FAA licensed aircraft mechanic), but it’s usually pretty easy to remove the wings from most light aircraft. There is the possibility they could repair the aircraft and fly it out, but I’m not sure if the old airstrip is usable, and the takeoff would be a post maintenance test flight. I suspect the FAA is likely to consider it too much of a risk in a populated area.

juliedanaestates August 30, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Thank you nice pilot for not landing on my rock!

Terry Kremin August 30, 2014 at 1:09 AM

Fuel it up and fly it back! (the most likely problem) Maintenance check flight wouldn’t land back at the weapon station. Out over the 4, and into the pattern without crossing any housing.

Terry Kremin August 30, 2014 at 1:11 AM

Old airstrip is down by corner of Willow Pass and E. Olivera. Ecoupes were built in the era of grass strips – its a 1930s design!

Craig Cannon August 30, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Can’t take off from its current sitting spot. It’s plowed. The old strip is over a small rise, maybe 1/2 Mile West. The Front Gear is Damaged, Also. That’s an incredible landing on tilled fire break! I’d fly with this Guy anytime! He thought of others, before himself, and aircraft. You can bet, some pilots would try to make the airport. Homes, business, and people to avoid. He said something like 37 or so years of flying time, service to our country also. Great Man here. Great Man.

mmmm.... chicken August 30, 2014 at 6:16 AM

He was probably just trying land as close as possible to the new Popeye’s Chicken on Clayton Rd, what with their world famous fried chicken, tantalizing sides, and refreshing beverages. He may have even had a coupon.

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@ Craig August 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

FJ is a great guy and an excellent pilot. Most of the pilots at Buchanan are excellent pilots and good people.
I didn’t know who the pilot was until this morning, but I’m not surprised that he did this. I also hadn’t heard that he bought an Ercoupe. Online registry shows it still registered in Florida.

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