[UPDATE Monday] Plane Accident Near Fortuna; Horses Are Okay and So Is the Pilot

plane crash with horse

A horse examines the evidence. [Photo provided by a reader]

Just before 4 p.m., a 1947 North American Aviation Navion plane had an accident near the intersection of Drake Hill Road and Hillcrest Drive in South Fortuna which is near the Rohnerville Airport.

The details are unclear but according to Shellie Mendes, a witness, “There was no engine sound at all while [the] plane was coming down.”

The pilot received no injuries in the incident. And, according to Mendes, the horses in the field were all okay.

At this time we don’t know if the owner of the plane who is listed as a John Norberg of Eureka was the pilot.

BLM, Fortuna Police, and Fortuna Fire on the scene, Mendes said.

Horses and emergency personnel surround a downed plane.

Horses and emergency personnel surround the downed plane. [Photo provided by Shellie Mendes]

UPDATE Monday: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Sunday, 08/27, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Drake Hill Road and Hillcrest Drive in the Fortuna area for the report of a downed aircraft. The pilot stated he experienced mechanical problems and had to land the 1947 North American Navion Fixed Wing aircraft in the field. The plane had minor damage and the pilot sustained minor injuries. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were contacted. They advised the plane could be released to the pilot for removal.



  • Wow! Great job pilot.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    When I hear of plane wrecks, can’t help but defaulting to 9/11/2001 where marihuana growers flew planes into buildings.

    Glad this isn’t the case.

    Flying is fun, so is jumping out them.

    Pretty good emergency landing.

    • That would be “marijuana”. Lol

      • The spelling of Marihuana came into use in the Spanish-American war. In fact, the US government issued the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 stamp (a tax on pot).

        • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

          And we see uneducated dope growers attempting to correct spelling, on an issue they joined The Marijuana Caliphate over…

          You’d think weed jihadis would know their history, but their God us the federal reserve making them not applicable to The Geneva Convention.

          These misguided terrorist sub division groupings seek only to establish large zones where healthy children can not be raised.

          The story of the Lorax was written about dope growers long before many of these garbage pails were born.

          Waiting to foreclosure service papers, eviction-

          This is the last ripper moon for so many of you.

          Your history is written in sand on the rising tide.

          Go back to your slums, get out!

          • When I hear about plane wrecks, all I think of is Planewreck the ganja strain (Trainwreck x Afghani…get it?)

            Chump, can you get me a cut? All my slum dogs be missing that, homey.

            • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

              You know…


              Libs don’t even deserve Af-wreck or anything from NoHum indo years…

              HPS and not liking flatlanders eating all the kale at Bofoberries…

              Go ask Steve and see if he can beat his mom or dog enough to get you one.

              Rotten Bud For Everyone & lawyers don’t surf.

          • Chump is a Trumper

            Seriously Chump, go back to LoCo and troll that page. You’re just annoying, stir shit for no reason, threadjack, and are rather useless in every thread.

    • Please do with out a shoot

    • Chump is a humboldt terrorist and a homeland security issue for the usa. Hes on many lists and is more malicious than any grower with a head on their shoulders. Chump should be tried by his peers and be held accountable for his private hobbies which would make growing herb (which is now legal to each limit, so get off the high horse chump) look like selling ice cream. Watch what you say chumpy, karma us a sneaky b***$$. Your cover is blown jimbo, tread lightly

    • Whenever you say 9/11:

      I always wonder why the CIA let nawaf-al-hazmi and khalid-mindhar into California over a year b4 9/11.

      These two were already wanted by the FBI for their involvement in the embassy bombings years prior.

      The CIA let these two fly in from Kuala Lampur, under Saudi and American surveillance, land in LA, move to San Diego and flirt with other extremists.

      All under the CIA watch, and kept secret from the FBI. Why?

      Of course, I have defended chumps humor, but the 9/11 references are heavy. Plenty to laugh about. Like where was our air defense for over an hour 45 minutes while we were being attacked.

      While most likely the 15 Saudis did not smoke weed, they did hAve support from within the US.

      The 9/11 Commission reported on the financial connections to Saudi princes (family of Bandar Bush), only to see those connections buried and igored by most people.

      The 9/11 family members want to sue Saudi Arabia, our huge ally, for material support of 9/11. All our presidents have blocked their efforts through legislation.

      Interestingly CHUMP, the 9/11 families are not suing humboldt weed farmers.

      So please, HBC, lay off the 9/11 stink.


      Richard Clarke interview you’ve never seen:

      • Indeed; the very correct question about 9/11. Where was NORAD; and why where the jets not diverted? F-16’s launched to challenge? Or, heaven forbid, shot down? All we ever hear about our esteemed North Amererican Air Defense is that they’re tracking Santa Claus’ sleigh for the umpteenth year. But when we need them and the DOD to coordinate . . . Nada. Hard to comprehend.

  • He had engine failure and landing gear failure so went for the field he had to swerve to miss a cow or would have had perfect landing

    • How do you have a “perfect landing” without your landing gear down?

      • I don’t know know about perfect, but anyone you can walk away from is a good one!

      • There’s a guy that lived in Humboldt that built his own amphibious plane. Flew it down to Clear Lake and landed on the water with the wheels down. Screwed it up pretty good but got it fixed. Flew back to Humboldt and landed on the pavement with the wheels up. Just a little story about the trials and tribulations of flying. I used to fly with a guy that when queried by the tower on final if his gear was down, he would report back, “Gear down and welded” as it had fixed gear. Always got a chuckle because the usual comeback was “gear down and locked”.

  • John should have stopped flying awhile ago.
    At least everyone is OK.

  • The Apache Warrior

    That almost looks like the plane that was circling over and around the County Fairgrounds this afternoon. Circled about 3 or 4 times. thought maybe it was the media filming the goings on. The Sun was very bright, so, you couldn’t really see the markings very well, but, the wing tips and everything looks like the one that was overhead. I was on Security Duty and seen it overhead.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Different plane. I watched that plane too. It was a high-wing type and plain white. Older, but a lot different looking than the one that went down in the field.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I heard a plane take off from Murray Airfield making an unusual sound like gunfire or fireworks just a short time before this. I wonder if it was the same plane?

  • Just drinking gatorade and wondering to myself, self ? Why is black lives matter at a plane crash ? 😎

  • See we don’t need the fire chief to do a press release with lies. The real citizens took care of it.

    • Sounds like a disgruntled ex-fireman that got terminated and baned from the department. The fire chief is one of the most honorable men I know, unlike the scanner chasers who claim to be witnesses. Witness to the landing, I dont think so…Heard the call and responded to get in the way of emergency personnel arriving on scene, that is more accurate.

    • Not a firefighter

      Sounds to me like a pissy old disgruntled ex-firefighter.

    • Really Mr. M – you need to take up another hobby besides ambulance and fire chasing – works you up a little too much! Have you thought of counseling to help get you over being ousted from your volunteer position – such anger still!!!

    • Please don’t disparage the fire chief. Yes, he made an error in trying to get a news reporter to not report news, but that just proves he’s a fire fighter and not a politician.

      As someone who has been there in the past, I can say it is very disheartening to hear disgruntled people make disparaging remarks about actions made under severe distress by well meaning trained emergency response people.

  • Bureau of Land Management. Which is why I’m confused by BLM for Black Lives Matter. Coming from a ranching family in Idaho it was easy to be confused by the acronym.

  • Best to be clear about it: Black Lives Matter More. BLMM

    The guys in the black hoods bashing brains with baseball clubs are not KKK but your sons and daughters brainwashed by the Maoist thugs at H.S.U.

  • You have a perfect landing by walking away! Haven’t read this many A-Hole comments in awhile.

  • Hey, Chump, You should know the hillbillies in “Deliverance” were marijuana growers. You know, the “squeal like a pig” guys. The city boys accuse them of being moonshiners, which offends them so they proceed to teach a lesson and demonstrate the long term effects of marijuana use.

  • Blessed are the pilots who walk away from a crash alive. The crash could have a started a horrible grass fire, but that didn’t happen. All right!
    The FAA will have a ball with this accident-why, how, and who, and the condition of the plane-current maintenance records, etc. Today was good day for all. Thanks everyone for your concern.

    • FAA shouldn’t spend any more than about ten minutes on this one. No injuries, no property damage. Plane had it’s annual 10-13-16. The plane was built in 55, so they aren’t looking for unknown manufacturing defects. It will be interesting to see why the engine quit. As long as Mr. Norberg passes his exams, I say fly ’till you can’t. It was a beautiful day for flying VFR and a lot of older guys smartly limit their flying to days like this. It’s not like he was flying instruments in the fog at night. My hat is off to him. Good job.

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    Cool plane! Sure am glad it didn’t hurt the horses!

  • Da plane, Da plane.................................

    When I was at the County Fair I saw the airplane in a spin. It looked OK and I said to my friend, “look at that plane doing a spin”. It was definitely a low wing plane and white in color. Maybe it was in trouble and I didn’t realize it.

  • Close up that cockpit. I’ve had mustangs (mine) eat my tractor seat…. I’m sure an airplane seat is just as tasty.

    • Might not be able to depending on how hard the impact was, that’s why it’s always a good idea to open a sliding canopy before making an emergency landing if possible, would be a very bad day to be stuck inside with a fire or in a water landing! And yes! They always eat my quad seats!

    • Oh, they were cribbing on the trailing edges of the control surfaces!

  • God i do miss flying, my step dad used to take me with him and hand over controls back when i was 12 or so. It was the best feeling when he would say ok your control, fly us where ever you like. I have never felt as free as when that happened.

  • A three point landing. Two trees and a telephone pole.

  • Great flying by the pilot in an emergency. He didn’t hit a house or horse. He also walked away from the controlled crash. It,s always good to know the glide ratio of the plane you’re flying.

  • B.S. & honestly. You are all FOOLS !!! Guess again

  • Just for the record – the witness stated, “there was no engine sound,” when the plane was coming down.
    Even with the engine running there often is little or no audible sound when a small plane lands unless the pilot has to gas it at the last moment for some reason.
    I lived at a small airport and often looked up to see some one landing I hadn’t heard coming in, just in time to run out to gas them up. Or drive them to town.
    Also every pilot will always be looking for that place he can do an emergency landing – it’s part of the routine. Know Where You Are AT All Times. So the pilot was doing his job.
    Soooo Glad no on was hurt.

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