Small plane crashes in Hilltop area; two occupants unhurt
A two-day vacation ended abruptly for two Portland residents when the Piper Cherokee 140 they were flying in crashed to the ground Monday just above downtown Truckee.
Thirty-four-year-old Christopher Gunderson of Portland, Ore., took off from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport shortly after 10 a.m. when he realized his plane was overloaded and was unable to attain lift, according to Nevada County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Sgt. Bill Evans said Gunderson attempted to return to the airport and, while circling back stalled the plane. He then tried to gain speed by descending but was close to power lines that parallel Palisades Drive.
Gunderson landed in the field south of the Cottonwood Restaurant, skidding to a stop against a large willow tree.
The plane sustained moderate damage, but was left intact. The plane leaked at least 18 gallons of aviation fuel from its left wing before the leak was contained by TFPD crews, according to reports.
Gunderson and his passenger suffered minor cuts, and were treated and released by TFPD at the scene.
According to reports, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board were notified of the incident. Both agencies authorized the removal of the plane from the site for storage in a secured location while the crash investigation is completed.
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