Earlier today, Blaine County residents were shocked to see a private jet make an emergency landing at the McKenzie Field Airstrip in Grapeseed. According to authorities, a Buckingham Nimbus flight from San Fierro to Los Santos had reported an engine failure and pilot Rich Ford was forced to perform emergency maneuvers.
After they had finished speaking to the local authorities, we questioned pilot Rich Ford, and co-pilot Fernando Jimenez, on what exactly had occurred. Mr. Ford gave us a timeline of events and Mr. Jimenez explained the reasoning behind their decision-making.
Scarfox64: Can you concisely explain what exactly happened earlier today?
Mr. Ford: It’s pretty simple, so I’ll be blunt. On a private flight chartered by a few entrepreneurs, we made our way out of Easter Bay International Airport at about midday. Most of the flight was fine. It wasn’t until we entered Blaine County airspace about an hour later that we started getting readings about our left engine malfunctioning. Due to the ongoing investigation we can’t get into the details, but by the time we passed Mt. Chiliad we were suffering a partial left engine failure.
Scarfox64: So what was your next move?
Mr. Jimenez: I’ll field that question. With six souls on board, we couldn’t afford to make mistakes. We made the safest choice and decided to land in Blaine County. I had familiarized myself with the area beforehand and knew of two nearby runways. Sandy Shores Airfield was occupied at the time due to some military exercise, so we went with the privately-owned McKenzie Field Airstrip…
Mr. Jimenez: …As I was guiding Mr. Ford to the general location of MFA, I also had to work quickly to contact the controller there…
Scarfox64: Really? At the same time?! That must’ve been harrowing!
Mr. Jimenez: It was. Luckily, I was able to contact someone working there and they confirmed that the runway was clear. We explained our situation, and they were able to accommodate us. We were incredibly grateful for the assistance.
Scarfox64: What do you two attribute in averting this potential catastrophe?
Mr. Ford: Mr. Jimenez’s knowledge of the area was an indisputable advantage.
Mr. Jimenez: As was Mr. Ford’s decades of experience in aviation. As well as the Nimbus’ Enus engines. I mean, imagine flying a plane with one and a half engines successfully. It’s a testament to their power and efficiency.
Scarfox64: Thank you for your time gentlemen.
Mr. Jimenez: Glad to help.
Mr. Ford: No problem.
Bystander reactions ranged from grateful relief to mild annoyance. One man was quoted as saying:
I can’t believe they landed safely. Good for them.
A local vagrant, who supplied this picture of the plane had this to say:
Damn pilots can’t fly for jack. I don’t trust those Shamals either, always crashin’.
We also spoke with one of the passengers on the flight, businesswoman Sharon Wright, who had this to say:
I was fearing for my life during the last leg of the flight. One minute we were comfortably sipping champagne, the next we were veering hard to the left and getting hit by so much turbulence. I thought we were going to die. One of the pilots came on the PA system and let us know we were going to have to land in Grapeseed. We had heard an explosion in the back. We knew the engine was failing, we could hear it. I just hoped that Grapeseed wasn’t too far away…
Hours after we conducted these interviews, we acquired and compiled footage of the plane making its descent over the Alamo Sea. No one was hurt, but we must remind our readers that this footage may be unsettling to watch.
Engine failure incidents are incredibly rare and only three have occurred in the past ten years, the previous one in 2013. Foul play is not suspected in today’s events. The aircraft has been grounded until further notice and the engine is currently being inspected to determine the cause of the partial failure.
PCEO News contributor