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EXCLUSIVE: pilot talks about surviving crash landing

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Posted: Dec 10, 2013 9:20 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Dec 10, 2013 9:20 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: FOLSOM, pilot, co-pilot, crash landing, 911, Nick Burtchaell, single engine, Rockwell Commander 112, plane, Folsom, cow pasture, Ryan Naquin

FOLSOM - A pilot and his co-pilot are celebrating a crash landing the two were able to walk away from unharmed.

"Somebody was with you today," the 911 operator told the two. "I'm so glad we're able to talk to you. I know it's a bad deal but thank God," she told the men as they described their ordeal and awaited rescue assistance Tuesday morning.

"We had a catastrophic engine failure," the pilot Nick Burtchaell said.

Burtchaell's single engine Rockwell Commander 112 plane fell 3000 feet until it landed in a Folsom cow pasture.

The plane would have been salvageable if not for a fence hidden by tall grass, Burtchaell said.

"That is actually what destroyed the aircraft," he said. "When we touched down and our wheels were on the ground, we just accepted the fate and that's when we struck the fence. Believe it or not, just as we struck the fence we came out into the clear area, and that's when the plane slid to its side and came to an abrupt halt."

The plane will never grace the skies again.

Burtchaell gives credit to his training and chance.

"It's something that we are accustomed to. Not accustomed to crashing in a cow pasture but it is something that we are able to do. I'm pretty lucky."

Listen to the 911 call for help by clicking the attached video.

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