Plane makes emergency landing in field near Ashland

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 6:33 p.m. CST; updated 5:25 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 20, 2014
Kirk Powell was forced to make an emergency landing in his small plane Thursday in a field near the intersection of routes M and DD near Ashland. "We found a nice bean field and decided to call it home," Powell said.

*This story has been updated to include a Facebook remark from the pilot's wife.

ASHLAND — It was a routine flight for Kirk Powell until he began his descent to the Jefferson City airport.

When one of the two engines in his Cessna 414 failed, Powell alerted Columbia Regional Airport. Emergency crews were dispatched for a small plane in distress with three passengers.

Powell said his plane could be flown with one engine, but the second failed almost immediately after the first and left him in a glide.

"At that point, you're pretty limited on options," he said. "So we found a nice bean field and decided to call it home."

Powell, who said he has 26 years of experience flying, brought the plane down safely in a field west of Ashland near the intersection of routes M and DD — even though the landing gear snapped off after touching down and the plane skidded another 100 yards.

"It just becomes instinct," Powell said. "You fall back on your training, and you do what you've been taught."

The plane was returning to Jefferson City after it took off this morning on a round-trip flight to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

"I'm thankful to be alive," Powell said.

The plane was carrying three passengers who escaped with no injuries, said Lt. Corey Sapp of the Southern Boone County Fire District. The passengers declined to comment.

Vicki Powell of Columbia praised her husband's landing Thursday in a Facebook post that began: "Thank u for all the kind texts...and messages. Kirk is amazing."

Five agencies were involved in the emergency response, Sapp said.

"We send a lot of things out to these types of incidents," he said. "We're thankful they ended up like this."

Supervising editor is John Schneller. 

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