Woodburn man and his co-pilot walk away from plane crash
A leisurely morning flight for breakfast in Mulino ended in a grove of unharvested Christmas trees for a Woodburn pilot and his co-pilot, who both walked away from plane crash near Lenhardt Airpark in Hubbard Saturday morning.
Robert Teneyck, 81, of Woodburn, and Rosalie Carman, 70, of Portland, escaped with only bumps and scrapes from a crash that totaled Teneycks 1946 Ercoupe 415-C.
The two had left Lenhardt Airpark early in the morning for Mulino Airport for a pancake breakfast, Teneyck said. On the flight back, Teneyck was descending toward the Lenhardt runway around 10:30 a.m. and attempting to negotiate the tight corridor of trees entering the landing strip when a gust of wind caught the plane and blew it toward a grove of trees on the right.
Somehow the plane got blown off course, maybe by a side wind, Teneyck said. The right wing struck one of those real tall pine trees at the edge of this corridor that we fly through.
The initial impact spun the plane to the right before it launched left into a grove of unharvested Christmas trees.
We heard kind of a cracking sound, Teneyck said. It wasnt much of a jolt, but a cracking sound, and then the trees took over and I had no control.
Teneyck estimates that he was going around 72 miles an hour in his descent. As the plane struck the trees, its forward momentum was arrested by the various limbs and branches, Teneyck said. When the plane came to a rest, Teneyck and Carman unfastened their seatbelts and climbed out through the window pane.
Teneyck reported a small bump on the head, and said that Carman had a scratch on the arm, but nothing major to worry about.
Some people saw it and came running over, and we climbed out, he said. They went and called an ambulance, and we were like, Oh, you dont really need to do that.
The Aurora Fire District and Woodburn Ambulance were the first to respond to the crash at 10:48 a.m. Teneyck and Carman were transported to the hospital where they were treated and released the same day.
Teneyck has been flying since the 1980s, and the Ercoupe was his third plane after an ultralight and Cessna 113. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were notified of the crash and are investigating. Teneyck reports when the FAA releases his plane after their investigation, hell store the parts in his hangar.
Were thankful that we could walk away, because with the angle that we rested at, I wouldnt expect people to live, he said. It hit just the right branches and trees to slow us down.