Valley pilot reacts to airplane landing in Page backyard

PHOENIX - Pat Medford has been restoring and flying airplanes out of Phoenix for more than four decades. And while flying is his passion, he has seen his fair share of close calls over the years.

“I’ve had a tremendous amount of stress, I’ve had an in-flight fire,” said Medford.

So when we told Medford about the pilot in Page who crash-landed in someone’s backyard with French tourists on board, he wasn’t terribly surprised.

“I don’t know if he was dealing with a power problem or a density altitude problem, but if it was both it’s double the trouble,” Medford said.

In fact, Medford says he’s dealt with wind issues himself at the same airport, and says the pilot should be commended for his quick thinking under pressure.

“He managed quite well because he was able to get the airplane down without killing anybody,” Medford said.

Investigators say the plane is registered to American Aviation, which was involved in a fatal airplane accident in Page just last month.

Officials say a passenger was killed when the pilot lost power and the plane went down. Another passenger was hospitalized.

In that earlier incident, the passengers were also from France.

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