Scare in the air: Omaha student pilot recounts close call & emergency landing

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - 18 year-old Trent Pearce is grateful he walked away without a scratch after he and his flight instructor made an emergency landing last weekend in a Metro-area soybean field.

Pearce told 6 News: "It was kind of crazy how close we were to the trees and how we came down over them."

Pearce is an Eagle Scout and a senior at Creighton Prep. In November, he started taking flying lessons. He was practicing emergency maneuvers on Saturday January 20 when the single-engine plane suddenly started losing altitude.

Pearce said: "I was kind of controlling everything and it kind of shook a bit, like the engine was going out. We were dropping and there was no power."

Pearce told 6 News his instructor took the controls and they both looked for a safe place to land. They eventually glided into a soybean field near 144th & Giles. Pearce said: "We both kind of looked at each other and gave each other a high five."

Once on the ground Pearce called his father, Kevin Pearce. Kevin Pearce told 6 News: "Trent is always a level-headed kind of a kid. So I think with him being an Eagle Scout...he keeps his head in the game."

As for future flights, Trent Pearce told 6 News his emergency landing taught him an important lesson. He said: "Don't let this kind of emergency take away from you flying. Keep on flying even though you had this happen to you."

The plane Pearce was flying is owned by Oracle Aviation, a company based at the Millard Airport.

Just a few days after Pearce's emergency landing, another Oracle plane - with another student and instructor - made an emergency landing on a Millard ball field.

Both incidents are currently under investigation by the FAA.