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(Update) Sault College plane makes forced landing on service road

Student pilot used cell phone to call for help after emergency landing on gravel road
The plane, a single-engine Zlin Z242 Guru, is shown after its forced landing at Montreal River

10 p.m. update

A second-year Sault College aviation student was forced to abort a training flight Friday and made an emergency landing on a service road at Montreal River, college president David Orazietti tells SooToday.

"I can tell you it's a second-year student who was on a routine flight lesson planned as part of a cross-country route," Orazietti said.

"[He] apparently encountered engine trouble and the student acted swiftly. It highlights the rigorous training provided in the Sault College aviation program. The student made an emergency landing."

"Our students are provided with rigorous training that equips them for these types of situations. Safety remains our top priority."

"We'll be reviewing all of the details related to the event. The student made an emergency landing on a road due to apparent engine trouble and then contacted dispatch by cell phone."

"The student is fine. There are no injuries of any type. We're very thankful for that."

"I understand the road is an Ontario Hydro road and there's no risk to the public around the aircraft. The student actually taxied about a quarter mile in the plane to stop off the road by some buildings."

"We've informed the Transportation Safety Board and the plane was the plane was released immediately," Orazietti said.

As of Friday night, the plane was still on the service road, attended by Sault College staff.

"We've informed our chief flight instructor and the Transportation Safety Board, provided details in regard to the event and the plane. The plane was released."

"The student acted swiftly to make the landing and used the rigorous training that he gets in the Sault College aviation program. This is a second-year student who has completed the private pilot license portion of the program and was currently working on a related to the commercial pilot licence," Orazietti said.

Original story - 7:15 p.m.

A training aircraft flown by Sault College aviation students is reported to have made a forced landing Friday at Montreal River.

Initial information is sketchy, but the aviation tracking site FlightAware shows C-FSCZ, a single-engine Zlin Z242 Guru registered to the college, left Sault Ste. Marie Airport at 8:39 a.m.

FlightAware doesn't report the $500,000 plane landing anywhere, reporting only that it was "last seen near Sault Ste. Marie."

However, the above photo, posted today on social media, shows what appears to be the college's plane, landed on a gravel road in Montreal River.

The plane appears undamaged and no injuries have been reported to SooToday.

"Hell of a landing... the training proves itself once again," a source familiar with Sault College's aviation program tells SooToday.

Manufactured in the Czech Republic, Zlin aircraft have been the backbone of the Sault College aviation fleet since 1995.

The college's fleet is comprised of 14 single-engined aircraft and three twin-engined aircraft.

SooToday is monitoring the situation and will post further information as it becomes available.


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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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