SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A World War II Russian cargo plane landed upside down in a San Bernardino empty field Friday.
It happened after noon at Ninth Street and Lankershim Avenue. The single-engine Antonov AN-2 experienced engine failure as it approached San Bernardino International Airport, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.
Jennifer Sifford said she saw the plane as it clipped power lines and fell to the ground upside down. “You could tell they were in distress. They were extremely extremely too low.”
she rushed immediately to the pilot and took his vitals and his co-pilots’ before helping them get out, she said. “It was like the world was ending. It was so scary. It’s like you don’t expect that. I mean he was trying to land.”
The pilot and copilot walked away from the wreckage unharmed.
The aircraft, which took off from Cable Airport in Upland, was operated by the Commemorative Air Force.
“The plane was completely off. I didn’t know how they were going to land it,” William Lair said. “But this field was luckily here. I’d say five minus ahead of time, and the plane would have went into houses, definitely!”
The show plane, called Big Panda, was built like a tank. It can land and take off in a football field and represents the largest single engine biplane in the world – design that no doubt came in handy when the pilots saw the small space they had to work with.