Kent student makes emergency landing in Stow

Allison Smith

Dumovic and Dzurec stand next to the plane after making the emergency landing. Allison Smith | KentNewsNet

Editor’s Note: The emergency plane landing occurred June 13. Because of a technical error, this article was posted to the May 8 issue.

A Kent State University airplane made an emergency landing this morning at about 9:45 a.m.

Daniel Dzurec, a freshman flight student, said he was receiving a flying lesson from his instructor when his Cessna 152 airplane lost power.

“[It was a] normal take off. During our climb we lost about half power, a little more, probably down to about 20 percent,” Dzurec said.

Rob Dumovic is Dzurec’s flight instructor. He said he has been an instructor for 2 years and has been flying airplanes since 2003.

“I immediately took the airplane off the student which is the procedure that we brief before we take off,” Dumovic said.

Dumovic said he started to turn back to the airport and made a radio call to let his chief know that they were coming back in. He said he figured out that they weren’t going to make it to the airport and began looking for a suitable place to land.

“I saw the high school and I saw Fishcreek Road and Fishcreek was a better option. I lined up going southbound on Fishcreek, we were in the right lane and going with traffic,” Dumovic said. “I had to dodge some powerlines and some road signs. We put it in between two sets of traffic, there were some cars behind me and some cars in front of me.”

Dumovic said he had to put on the brakes just right so that no one would hit him from behind and he didn’t hit anyone in front of him. He coasted the plane up on a street next to Sto-Kent Family Entertainment.

“That’s where the engine finally shut off completely,” Dumovic said.

Dumovic is a member of the Kent State University flight team that placed seventh as a team in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association flight competition. He said it was strange that this happened to him because he won the power-off landing event which simulates what happened with the airplane today.

“So being a national champion at that and actually having to do it, I’m glad I could,” Dumovic said. “The training here at Kent has made me so I am able to perform any time.”

Dzurec’s mother is Laura Dzurec, Dean of the College of Nursing. She said Dzurec didn’t tell her what happened right away. He called her at home and told her he was standing in a parking lot and then told her why.

“If someone had told me this before I spoke to him I’m sure it would have been very different,” she said. “He sounded calm. I felt calm.”

Mrs. Dzurec said she’s not worried about him taking flying lessons. She said anything could happen at any time.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and he just loves it,” she said.

Dumovic said it’s rare to have to do an emergency landing with a Kent State airplane.

“I was actually surprised. Our maintenance here is top-notch,” he said. “For this to happen to an airplane is extremely odd.”

Airplane maintenance plans to take the airplane apart to look for what went wrong.

“If we find that there are other airplanes with the problem, then we will definitely fix it,” Dumovic said. “We won’t let this happen again.”

Dzurec said this was only his sixth hour of flying lessons and he needs close to 50 or 60 hours. Dzurec is an aeronautical systems major and aeronautical technologies minor. He said he wants to be an aircraft mechanic and get his engineering degree.

He said he wasn’t very afraid when the power started draining.

“Everything kind of shut off at that point and I just kind of focused,” Dzurec said.”It’s certainly a unique experience.”

Contact principal reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].