Plane crashes near airport in Paso Robles

A 65-year-old pilot from Visalia crash-landed the single-engine plane he was flying Friday morning in a field five miles from the Paso Robles airport after experiencing engine problems.

Bobby Joe Blythe, a licensed flight instructor, called 911 about 4:20 a.m. after the crash.

“It took a considerable amount of time to find him because of the dense fog,” said Rob Bryn, sheriff’s spokesman. “Cal Fire and sheriff’s deputies searched and actually used sirens and lights so that he could direct rescuers to the site.”

The plane was found in a field near Ranchita Canyon and Von Dollen roads.

Blythe was transported to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton for a moderate head injury.

He was headed to the Paso Robles airport to pick someone up when he experienced engine problems, according to officials.

The 2010 Piper Malibu Matrix plane he was flying is registered to Central Valley Mortgage Services Inc. of Porterville. The company refused to comment on the crash.

This is not the first plane crash Blythe has survived.

In October 2003, he suffered major injuries after the crop-duster he was flying crashed into a cotton field, according to past news reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating Friday’s crash.