SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- An emergency situation in Jackson County around 10:30 Thursday morning caused a sight you definitely do not see every day on a golf fairway.
It was a steamy but tranquil morning at Scottsboro's Goose Pond Plantation Golf Course when a strange sight caused patrons to say, "It's a bird...it's a plane...no, really--it's a plane!"
Pilot Jeff Creel of Gaylesville, Al. is training for his pilot's instructor license. He says on his way from Madison County Executive Airport to Fort Payne he began experiencing engine problems.
"It started running rough, gradually losing power and then engine quit," explains Creel. "There were a few fields around full of corn and just plowed so I didn't want to do that and mess up the plane."
Golfer Rick Whithead says he was on the hole 3 putting green when an unexpected shadow caught his eye.
"Well I was standing there on the putting green and heard a noise and looked up to the north and saw a plane up there and thought, wow, that doesn't sound good," says Whitehead as he recalls the aircraft flying over his head.
Pilot says he saw a fairway void a people and decided to commit to the emergency landing. Creel's 1969 Cessna 172 Skyhawk came to rest on the hole 6 fairway. Not only did the pilot come away unscathed--so did Goose Pond's playing surface. Creel says despite the scare, he was able to immediately fall back on his pilot training.
"I could practically hear my old flight instructor over there in the right seat talking to me, you know? Just a textbook case--came in, nobody hurt, no property damaged," smiled Creel.
Jeff Creel was able to call his mechanic in Fort Payne who came and retrieved the faulty spark plugs and diagnosed the problem. They plan to get the plane repaired, off the golf course and back in the air by Friday.