[UPDATE 6 p.m.] Searchers Look for Small Plane Reportedly Landed on River Bar Near Scotia

Scanner traffic

About noon today, a small plane reportedly landed near the Scotia Mill on the Rio Dell side of the river on a small strip of sandbar, according to scanner traffic. Searchers immediately began looking for a possible downed plane.

At this point we are trying to gather information but, according to the scanner, there were two ultralights that landed and again took off, according to a report at 12:24 p.m. on the scanner.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: We’ve been assured secondhand that the pilots and their planes are fine.



  • That’s one way to move a couple of loads of cannabis….

  • Not ultralights, nor drug smugglers.
    Just a couple of Cessna taildraggers having fun. Some airplanes are made for landing off airport.
    The public needs to learn not to panic just because they see an airplane going someplace unusual. Unless the engine is stopped, smoke is coming out or you actually see it crash, it is probably fine. Pilots also practice simulated engine outs where they will glide down (with the engine running at idle) toward fields or river bars before adding power and flying back out.

    That said, it would also be helpful if pilots engaging in such activities would notify law enforcement ahead of time so they don’t waste emergency resources for no reason.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Yeah, well, that is cold comfort. We see a plane acting as if it is crashing as it flies over our homes, but not to worry unless it crashes, possibly killing people and igniting a firestorm. So, I’m on the river bar and a Cessna comes sailing in. No worries, it’s probably just Scottie practicing a crash landing. Just run like hell and laugh it off. I think a few pilots need to have their leash shortened if this is the prevailing attitude. It’s inhumane.

      • Flying is still even with all the increased regs one of the most liberating and freeing things a person can do today. Flying isnt just about travel it is about soaring the skies, running rivers and litterally being above all the petty hussle and bussle. Thankfully it isnt more popular such as driving , or else all the fun and pleasure would be taken out of it. Perphaps before judging, research the regs , and know the laws and rules that apply to differant aircraft.
        One wouldnt comment about how one should or should knit a sweater if one wasnt involved in knitting or textiles , i find it odd that non avatars want to tell avatars what is and isnt acceptable.

        • Ah, the dulcet sounds of class privilege.

          Small aircraft ownership for the most part, is a rich, white persons, folly.

          They bring noise to quiet areas. Because they can.

          With no thought what so ever, of the residents below.

          Bug out, with your patronizing pseudo paean of flying personal aircraft.

          • No louder than a chain saw and much quieter than folks shooting on the river bar.
            For general information though, no should be buzzing you in an aircraft on the river bar. A fixed wing airplane is required to stay 500’ away from any person, vessel or structure. Note, that is not 500’ above, it can be 500 to the side also. Remember 500’ is pretty close, only 1 1/2 football fields. Also remember, we can’t see everything, so if you are sunbathing between a couple of rocks on the river, it is possible the pilot will not see you and get closer than allowed.

            When over cities, airplanes are required to stay 1000’ above the town.
            None of this applies to helicopters. They have no height restrictions beyond being able to safely land in the event of an engine failure.

          • Well thats just proves what very little you know and how much you assume. There are several differant types of planes decent used ones can be purchessed for less than 20k, and if you want to spend a bit more even more in the 30 to 45k range, which is still less than a brand new 4×4 truck, so rich privledged class hardly, but keep assuming and passing on all that hate, or get out there and do something , see the world for the good in it and stop sucking on lemons. There is nothing wrong with people finding something they enjoy doing and having fun. How others use their resources is their right. Bitter people want others to be just as unhappy as they are and saddly nothing will bring them pleasure even if everyone becomes just as unhappy as they are.

            • Speaking of assumptions!! Many people in this county live on less than $20k a year. Those folks won’t be getting credit for a sport plane.
              It’s ok to be privileged, but one ought to notice and have the grace to be grateful for it.

        • Antichrist-
          Flying in some of the most congested airspace is not that much fun anymore, but around here we have it pretty good! 🙂

          Airplane trivia for the masses:
          Did you know that all the airspace around here is virtually uncontrolled?
          The closest towered airport is Redding. Unless one is flying IFR (in the clouds) one is not even required to have a radio (although it is kind of dumb not to IMHO). When flying around here, we don’t have to get permission from anybody. The pilots just talk to each other and report their positions. Yep, even when you are flying on United into the Eureka/Arcata airport.

      • LCO- If a plane is going to crash into your house, you will never hear it or see it in enough time to do anything. As a pilot, I can tell you that the very last thing I want to crash into is a building. The building always wins and you might hurt somebody in the house. The pilot will be doing everything he can to go anywhere except into your house.

    • Hugh Manatee – It used to be a lot more common for the pilots to be flying ‘IFR” = “I Fly/Follow Rivers”, in a rural place like this and not at all uncommon for them to find a nice field or meadow to land in just to check out the place. Folks from the surrounding farms and such would rush to check it out or try to finagle a ride. (disclaimer IFR in pilot talk is really “Instrument Fight Regulations.”)
      I also think they should inform some of the local authorities they are just practicing and such in their GA planes so the resources aren’t chasing tail trying to figure out if they need to respond or not. Too bad they aren’t talking to each other over the radio or something.
      And Lost Craot Outburst – take a chill pill. Believe me if a small plane pilot is in trouble or just landing on the river bar, I do think you are going to know the difference. I’m curious how many times you’ve been on the river bar and a GA plane came sailing by? Hell you’d be lucky to hear the thing. I’ve hung out at a lot of small airports and a small plane coming in with low power might not make that much noise!

      • You are absolutely correct.
        This used to be very common, but today most planes are not made for off-airport landing, nor are most pilots properly trained to do so, which is why people get excited and call the police whenever anything seems odd. Better safe than sorry I suppose, and I fully agree that pilots doing this should remember that not everybody knows it is safe and normal to land off airport and should notify the sheriff’s office (assuming it is a county area), to prevent this very response.

        • I hear what you are saying about newer planes and newbie pilots. Most are too teched up and didn’t learn real pilotage. Nothing like a good directional radio and a few maps.
          Derek X – truth be told if someone really has a passion to fly some older small airplanes aren’t that expensive to buy. Lessons could get expensive and insurance yadayada might add up but most pilots I know make it happen! Some cars I see folks buying and getting loans for cost more than a little puddle jumper. Helps if you’re handy with tools too. Some of those die-hards build them a plane in their garages.

  • Hugh, what an informative post! ! Thank you.

  • Air force/ Navy jets flyover in Carlotta yesterday was pretty low and loud. Sure got my attention! Pretty sure they weren’t looking for a practice, river bar landing….:)

    • Yeah, sometimes it’s fun just to turn fuel into noise!
      Especially when it’s on someone else’s tab!

      • They have required flight hours , and conditions to ensure they stay at the top of their game. It is their job, not really sure where the complaint would be other than they are staying trained up so that they dont lose million dollar freedom machines , that allow us to sleep comfortable in our beds at night, and worry about our first world problems instead of invading forces, and all the things that go along with that. Everytime i hear a military plane or jet, i think, That is the sound of freedom !!!.

        • Freedom? Nothing Free about it.

          You might instead, think of the reality that it’s bringing noise pollution, and polluting the clean air around you by burning Tax Payers Dollars.

          Freedom indeed!

      • I was gonna say someone else’s tab? I paid for it, you paid for it and every other tax payer paid for it, but I stand corrected, the national debt clock is spinning so fast it is someone else’s tab. No one alive today will still be here to see it paid back.
        Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      They like to practice low-level, stealth intrusions in uninhabited (!?!) areas, in case they need to cruise into N. Korea through the mountains. Any day could be T-Day when Trump decides to Trump Mueller with nuclear war. Investigate THAT! Neener, neener, neener.

      • Well perphaps, however if one were to have knowledge one would understand things like airdensity at differant levels, that speeds also are effects by level of flight , ect. It is all applied science and the frequant practice of applying science and math combined is what makes our avatars some of the best in the world. Take comfort in that.

  • I always try to catch a visual when they fly over Carlotta. Usually they fly faster than sound. Most times it’s F-18, Hornets. Once saw a F5 Tiger II, small trainer. Even saw a C-17 flying low over Yager creek area. I always love an air show!

  • Well at least they didn’t do this (WARNING! Some users may find the graphic content in this post absurdly immature).

  • Back in the 60’s and 70’s military planes would do a flyby over Horse Ridge Lookout on Southfork Mountain. When you heard them, they were several miles by. BOOM! Just about rupture your ear drums.

  • Was it a all white air plane? I ask because I had a all white airplane with noidentifying makings fly over my house at around that time (about a half hour drive from Scotia) about the same time. They were flying ridiculously low, to the point that I was trying to listen to make sure they weren’t having engine problems.

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