Yuba City: S. Didar Singh Bains, President WSO (International) lost his twin-engine Cessna plane when it crashed while on property investigation flight over his peach orchard. Pilot and other two occupants had miraculous escaped. Lanny Johnson, an eyewitness said, “I figured everyone in it was dead and burned up,” as the plane disappeared near the end of Employ Drive and he saw a “fireball of flames shooting 50 to 100 feet in the air.” But the pilot, Phil Peterson, and two passengers, James Goble and Robert Simmons walked away from the “inferno with only minor cuts and scratches. Didar Singh’s employee, Mr. Simmons was showing Mr. Goble property as he was interested in Bains property.

Peterson was attempting to land the plane at Sutter County Airport when something went wrong.

“It happened so quickly,” Simmons said. “Both engines quit at the same time. We started falling out of the sky. But the pilot did not panic so neither did I.”

“There were flames all around us,” he said, “as we took our seatbelts off and jumped through the flames. “We were just really lucky we had a pilot like that,” said Simmons.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 20, 1985