COLLEGE PLACE -- A rare moment of clear winter sky coupled with wind is said to be the cause of a local pilot crashing his plane.
David Cheney, owner of Cheney Aviation at Martin Air Field, crashed his 1941 Taylorcraft two-seater airplane onto a muddy field near Whitman Drive just before 4 p.m. Monday, according to emergency responders.
The pilot told deputies from the Walla Walla County Sheriff's office that he was coming in for a final approach when he was blinded by the sun and caught by the wind about the same moment. The gust blew the Taylorcraft into the trees where it struck some branches, Capt. Bill White said this morning.
Cheney, 82, was able to emerge from the wreckage with assistance from the first responder to the scene, said Chief Rocky Eastman of Fire District 4.
The pilot is reported to have suffered cuts to his head, but no major injuries. He was taken by ambulance to Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Eastman said. "It was a very good outcome."
"There is no information available by a patient of that name," noted Kathleen Obenland, director of public affairs for the hospital.
The family declined to comment on the accident this morning.
Although the plane is in one piece, it is likely a total loss, Eastman said. "Accident investigators will be following up today."
Sheila Hagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8322. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/fromthestorageroom.