A local pilot and his passenger escaped serious injury after a stiff gust of wind flipped their plane as the pilot attempted to land at Sisters Eagle Airport on Wednesday morning, April 10.

According to the Deschutes county Sheriff’s Office, a Black Butte Ranch Police sergeant driving by the airport witnessed the incident and called for assistance.

The DCSO, responded along with Sisters Fire Department. Upon arrival, deputies located the involved plane resting on its top adjacent to and partially on the paved runway. The pilot and passenger were able get out of the airplane on their own and they suffered only minor injuries during this incident. Neither occupant required transport to a medical facility.

Deputies determined the pilot, Brian Lansburgh, 73, of Sisters was attempting to land the plane in gusty winds using the adjacent dirt along the runway to assist him in making the landing. As the airplane touched down and began to slow, winds began to gust again and caused the plane to flip over onto its top.  Wind appears to be the only factor causing this crash, DCSO reported.

Arrangements were made with local and federal aviation authorities to close the runway for the duration of this investigation which lasted for approximately 90 minutes, DCSO reported. The runway was undamaged during this incident and the runway was reopened. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) were both contacted and assisted via telephone with this investigation. They will complete the investigation in the coming days.

The airplane was removed from the scene by airport staff and taken to a storage location to await inspection by FAA and/or NTSB.  Upon removal of the airplane, the airport was reopened. The airplane sustained moderate damage but remained in one piece.