Big Bear City, CA, January 26, 2016 – Yesterday morning, while performing a daily inspection, Big Bear City Airport staff found a single engine, tail wheel aircraft that was lying upside down near the runway. Following standard procedures, the airport was temporarily closed and FAA, fire, and law enforcement personnel were contacted. There was no pilot present and the airport was told by FAA authorities not to disturb the scene. The pilot had mistakenly attempted a landing at approximately 7:30 Sunday evening on the infield area between the runway and taxiway and flipped over in the snow. The airport office was closed at the time and the pilot left the scene.
The owner and pilot of the aircraft contacted the airport later Monday morning and spoke with San Bernardino Sheriff personnel. He reported there were no injuries. At approximately 10:00 AM, the FAA gave the airport approval to move the aircraft to a safe location. Airport staff, using their own equipment, righted the Wittman Tailwind aircraft back onto its wheels and towed it away from the runway. An inspection of the area for debris was conducted and airport operations resumed, with the runway open at 10:30 AM. The FAA is investigating the incident.