Pilot deploys parachute to land airplane

Joshua Kellogg

BLOOMFIELD  — The pilot of a single-engine plane that came down near Bloomfield this morning escaped with no injuries after deploying the plane's parachute and landing in an open field.

A pair of San Juan County Sheriff’s Office cars are parked on Friday at a home on County Road 4990 east of Bloomfield as police searched for a plane that crashed near the San Juan River.

Robert Hart III, 53, of Pagosa Springs, Colo., was flying a Cirrus Model SR22 aircraft north from Albuquerque to Pagosa Springs when the plane's engine started to malfunction, according to New Mexico State Police press release.

Hart was flying about 5 miles east of Bloomfield around 10 a.m. when he activated the plane's parachute and used it to land the plane and him safely in an open field, the press release states.

The plane crashed along the San Juan River, just north of County Road 4990, according to San Juan County Sheriff's Office detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

No property damaged resulted from the crash, according to state police.

The plane was found on the south side of the San Juan River just north of 664 County Road 4990, according to coordinates provided by Lincoln.

The San Juan County Communications Authority received multiple calls about the incident, Lincoln said. One caller hiked down to make contact with Hart and reported that he had no injuries.

Sheriff's office deputies responded to the scene, along with the San Juan County Fire Department, paramedics from the San Juan Regional Medical Center and state police officers.

According to state police, the plane was registered to Coastal King Aviation LLC, based out of Corpus Christi, Texas.

The investigation is being handled by state police, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been contacted about the incident.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.