A small plane crash-landed and overturned in a remote riverbed in south San Luis Obispo County on Friday morning, but both occupants were able to walk away from the incident.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said Friday that 76-year-old pilot John Charles Butler, of Phoenix, Ariz., reported engine trouble and told authorities he was going to attempt to land on Highway 166.
Sheriff’s Office officials and the CHP blocked a stretch of the highway for the landing, but the plane continued for about 40 miles before landing in a riverbed east of Highway 101 and Highway 166, flipping upside-down with both people inside.
Butler and his passenger, 67-year-old Pamela Butler Zirion, of San Luis Obispo, were able to get out of the plane on their own and declined medical treatment, Cipolla said.
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The Sheriff's Office, Cal Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire, the CHP, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service are all assisting in the investigation into the crash.
Cipolla said local authorities have notified the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, both of which will also investigate the matter.