Man Killed after Ryan PT-22 Hits Mower

Man struck while mowing grass landing strip.

PT-22 Crash Mower

PT-22 Crash Mower

Photo courtesy of Katie Helland/Free Lance

A landing Ryan ST-3KR collided with a lawn mower Thursday morning, killing a 75-year-old man who was mowing the grass runway at Frazier Lake Airpark in Hollister, California.

The WWII taildragger, traveling from Monte Sereno, California, had already touched down when it struck the lawn mower on the landing strip. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash, but neither mechanical failure, nor weather appears to have contributed to the accident.

"The pilot did not see that there was a 75-year-old man on a riding lawn mower cutting the grass there," said Eric Taylor, the operations captain for the San Benito County Sheriff's Office.

The man, later identified as Douglas Ralph Jackson, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the co-pilot was airlifted to the hospital with head trauma. The pilot suffered minor injuries and is expected to be OK.

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