Pilot Crash Lands on Ponoma Roof, Considers Himself ‘Luckiest Guy in the World’



After crash landing on the roof of an office building in Pomona, the pilot of a small plane reports that he feels like “the luckiest guy in the world” for surviving the incident with only minor broken bones and cuts to show for it.

On Monday night, Donald Bach told NBC Los Angeles of the harrowing incident from his hospital bed. As he was flying his Piper PA-28 aircraft, he realized that the engine had lost power. Although he admits feeling a moment of panic, Bach spotted the business’s rooftop and decided to focus on landing safely on the building, as it was the best option for a landing spot.

There are many kinds of roofing materials used by businesses, including aluminium, steel, and slate. In the case of this particular building — a state trooper office building — it was a flat roof with an asphalt coating, making it the perfect spot for Bach to crash land his one-engine plane.

“It was kind of a shock,” Bach said. “I knew it was going to be close, but I was also coming in at a fairly slow speed so I was hoping I could slam the brakes. Kind of miraculously, that tire caught in the roofing there and worked as sort of an anchor.”

Ultimately, the nose of the plane punched a hole in the building’s roof. When Bach regained consciousness, the paramedics had arrived. Bach didn’t suffer any major damage to his body, save a few bone breaks in his ankle and cuts on his forehead.

“I was very, very fortunate,” said Bach, 61. “I don’t think I learned a whole lot other than that I’m a lucky guy.”

And despite the traumatic incident, Bach is still considering getting back in an airplane and flying.

“I’m not ruling it out,” he said.

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