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Spanish Fork crash won't keep pilot from flying

By Lori Prichard | Posted - Nov. 27, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.


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SPANISH FORK -- Anthony Bussio was piloting the small Cessna plane, heading to Provo from Spanish Fork after lunch with family. On the way, his engine started sputtering and he knew something was terribly wrong.

Bussio, who has been flying for 12 years, went through his mental checklist for the situation. Soon after alerting air traffic control, he realized he only had about a minute to make a decision. It was his quick thinking in the sky Friday afternoon that likely saved his life and the lives of his three passengers.

"Not much goes through your head except flying the airplane and getting it down safe," he said. "I told (the passengers) to fasten their seatbelts a little bit tighter and told them to get ready for a bumpy landing."

Their ‘joy flight' suddenly ended in a field in Spanish Fork.

"The fields look pretty big when you're flying, but when you're getting close to them they shrink up really fast," Bussio said. "It was smooth until we hit the ditch in the end."

Because of Bussio's training and quick-thinking, the only casualty was the barbed wire fence on the other side of the ditch, surrounding the field.

"We kissed the ground and kissed the airplane for letting us land safe," Bussio said.

Bussio doesn't think this will keep him from flying again, he says flying is in his blood. Investigators don't know what caused the engine to fail, but the NTSB is investigating and expects to have an answer for the pilot soon.

Email:lprichard@ksl.com.

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