Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park said he had never seen a good ending to a Great Salt Lake plane crash before Thursday.
But two men walked away from an emergency landing on a sand barge in the lake Thursday, an outcome Park said he hadn't seen previously in similar emergencies. "It was a perfect landing. Any landing you can walk away from is a good one."
Shortly before 11 a.m., a 69-year-old Salt Lake pilot and a passenger took off in a single engine aircraft to go to Wendover for lunch, Park said. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed that his engine quit and he was going to try landing at the Erda Airport. He had to set the plane down early on the sand. The men are in good condition after the accident, the pilot said.
The biggest problem in responding to the emergency for authorities was the sandy and marshy area between them and the plane. At least one sheriff's patrol car became stuck and six-wheel ATV's had to be used to reach the men.