CAP pilot makes emergency landing

A Civil Air Patrol pilot escaped serious injury when she was forced to land on a city street in Conroe, Texas Jan. 3.

Second Lt. Sarah Rovner, a member of the Thunderbird Composite Squadron in Houston, was flying the CAP-owned Cessna 172 from West Houston Airport to Lone Star Executive Airport when she reported losing aircraft power. When she realized she would not be able to glide the final six miles to the airport, she safely landed the plane on Davis Street in downtown Conroe with guidance from an air traffic controller at the airport.

No one was injured, but there was some damage to electric utilities and the aircraft, CAP officials report.

The reason for the emergency landing has not been determined and is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.

Col. Brooks Cima, Texas Wing commander, said, “Landing on a public roadway is certainly not optimal, but the pilot surveyed the situation and determined that the road was the best and safest choice for herself and the residents of the area given the local terrain and darkness of night.”

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a non-profit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90%  of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years.

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