FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the agency will have a “long talk” with pilot William Supan after the 52-year-old Pleasanton, Calif. resident made three emergency landings in the same aircraft on the same day last Saturday. On the third landing his passenger Jinhua Lin had apparently had enough and jumped from the aircraft, breaking a leg and suffering abrasions. The plane was destroyed by fire on that landing and Supan suffered smoke inhalation, according to the Modesto Bee. Gregor said there are some questions about the pilot’s judgment that will top the agenda when investigators sit down with him.
Supan was taking Lin on her first plane ride when the cabin filled with smoke and he landed. He diagnosed the problem as a loose exhaust hose and told workers from a local FBO he was going to Wal-Mart to buy replacement parts. After taking off a second time the smoke problem reoccurred and he made another emergency landing. Instead of calling it a day, the Bee said he reportedly told witnesses that an exhaust hose had been cut. He replaced the hose (origin of the replacement hose is unknown) and took off again. The cabin filled with smoke again and this time, on landing, the aircraft went off the runway and burned. Investigators told the Bee the hose and clamp were in place but the hose was cut. Gregor told the Bee he questioned the wisdom of Supan flying the aircraft without it being checked by an aircraft mechanic.