Pilot survives crash

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2006

Douglas Grant

There is an old aviation saying that &uot;Any landing you can walk away from is a good one.&uot;

That could be said for a New Mexico man who survived the crash of a twin-engine aircraft he was piloting Friday evening on the outskirts of Suffolk.


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According to published reports, the plane went down about 6:30 p.m. near the Hampton Roads Executive Airport during a maintenance flight.

The pilot, Courtney Kinnan, the only person on board, escaped the accident apparently unscathed. He was meeting with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday, according to Airport General Manager Ron Van Sickle.

“He walked out (of the crash area) clear as a bell,” said Van Sickle.

Van Sickle said he didn’t know much about the crash.

He said he wasn’t present when the aircraft initially landed or crashed, and the first he knew of the accident is when an official with the local fire department called.

Because he wasn’t familiar with the area, Kinnan was unable to tell officials where he went down. A search was conducted Friday evening, but was called off due to darkness.

The plane was found Saturday about one-quarter mile southeast of the airport, said Van Sickle.

The type and model of Comanche that Kinnan was flying is not known, but generally speaking, the aircraft is just over 25 feet in length and has a wingspan of 36 feet. The older, non-turbo type aircraft of capable of achieving a ceiling, maximum height, of more than 18,000 feet.

Van Sickle said this was the first accident near the airport in about a year, the last being a helicopter crash.