Reed Wells, 21, of Wilton, landed this Cessna 150 last week in a field in Farmington after it developed engine trouble. His father, Mike, was with him. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — Reed Wells was at the controls of a Cessna 150 with his father, Mike, last week when the engine started sputtering and losing power, forcing him to land in a field behind the Narrow Gauge Cinema off Routes 4 and 27.

Reed Wells, 21, of Wilton rafts on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in Arizona last year. Last week while flying with his father from Phillips to Norridgewock he was forced to land a Cessna 150 in Farmington after the engine started losing power. Courtesy photo

“We left Phillips after we did a preflight check. Everything checked out,” the 21-year-old student pilot from Wilton said. “We took off and were going to Norridgewock.”

When the sputtering started they tried to stop it, he said, but it got worse and the engine was losing power.

“We headed to Farmington,” he said.

They decided on the field behind the movie theater where there were no obstacles and plenty of room to land.

“It was much safer to land there the way the engine was deteriorating,” Reed said.

“I was a little bit nervous because I have never experienced anything where we had to put a plane down,” he said. “It is something we always prepare for because when something does happen you have the skills to land the plane safely.”

Reed, who is working toward getting his pilot’s license, has been flying with his father since he was 5. He first took over one of the two sets of controls when he was 10.

No one was injured and the plane, which is owned by the Sandy River Flying Club based in Phillips, wasn’t damaged.

An airplane mechanic was called to try to determine the cause of the engine trouble.

“A good landing is one you can walk away from,” Reed said. “A great landing is when you can use the plane afterward.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.