Pilot uninjured after small plane lands on Palmer golf course

WASILLA -- A pilot walked away from an emergency landing at the Palmer Golf Course on Saturday night, according to an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The pilot, who was not identified, was practicing takeoffs and landings at nearby Palmer Airport and coming in for an approach when his engine lost power just before 8:45 p.m., according to NTSB investigator Chris Shaver.

"He elected to land on the golf course," Shaver said Monday. The Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser's landing gear clipped a power line on the way in, "and that sent him a little harder into the ground than he wanted," he said. The pilot told the investigator he didn't see the lines.

The pilot was not injured but the landing gear collapsed and one of the wings was damaged, Shaver said.

The corresponding power outage left just over 300 customers in the dark from before 9 p.m. Saturday until about 3 a.m. Sunday, according to Matanuska Electric Association spokesperson Julie Estey. The electric cooperative follows Federal Aviation Administration regulations for marking power lines, Estey said.

The plane was removed Monday and didn't appear to do any damage to the golf course, airport superintendent Jeffrey Combs said.

The incident occurred the same day as a midair collision near Wasilla that injured both pilots.

Zaz Hollander

Longtime ADN reporter Zaz Hollander is based in the Mat-Su and is currently focused on coverage of the coronavirus in Alaska. She also covers the Mat-Su region, aviation and general assignments. Contact her at