A Scripps Ranch family of four survived a crash landing when their six-seater plane lost power Saturday morning as they tried to land at Montgomery Field.
Larry Gabele, 44, a veteran pilot, said that he and his three sons, ages 3, 11 and 12, walked away unharmed after they landed their Cessna 210 on a dirt road about two miles south of the Kearny Mesa airport.
"This is the first time this has ever happened to me," said Gabele, a certified public accountant who has been flying for more than 20 years. "To say that it was a sobering experience is an understatement."
Gabele said he had taken his sons to Gillespie Field to inspect a second plane that he was having painted. He was returning to Montgomery field in Kearny Mesa when the plane lost power several thousand feet above the airport.
"It's a scary feeling," he said. "You start gliding and you figure out that you're not going to have enough glide range to make it to the field."
He said he told his sons that the plane was in trouble "and they just watched" as he maneuvered the blue and white craft onto the road two miles southeast of the airport.
The plane suffered substantial damage, he said.