Small plane goes down on Sherwin Creek Road; couple, dog, survive

A San Jose couple and their dog walked away from a plane crash with only minor injuries after the pilot crash-landed the plane on Sherwin Creek Road Saturday, May 24.

His Cessna 182 experienced engine trouble while flying from the Bishop airport over Mammoth Pass toward San Jose.

According to Mammoth Lakes Fire Chief Brent Harper, the pilot, Paul Cianci, San Jose, knew he had engine trouble while flying over the pass around 3 p.m. and started to look for an open spot to land the plane.

Sherwin Creek Road, which leaves Old Mammoth Road just south of the bridge over Mammoth Creek at the south end of Mammoth, was the closest open spot and Cianci brought the plane down on the road, "destroying the plane," but saving himself, his wife Prudence, and the couple's dog, Harper said.

"He did a great job landing that plane," he said.

The only injury to any of the parties involved was to Prudence Cianci, who sustained a slight ankle injury, Harper said.

The plane was removed from the accident site on Tuesday morning.