Pilot's condition upgraded to fair

September 11, 2003 12:00 am

By ABBY SOUZA

One of three Sonora residents hurt in a plane crash in Monterey on Tuesday re-mained hospitalized this morning.

Pilot Hal Cunningham, 56, was listed in fair condition at San Jose Medical Center. He had been listed in serious condition yesterday.

Donna L. Reese, a passenger, was released from that hospital yesterday. Reese, whose age was not available, is a audiologist and speech pathologist. Emergency crews had to cut through Cunningham's plane using "jaws of life" equipment to free her.

Dewayne Gipe, 64, has been released from Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and is staying with relatives in the area. Gipe, former owner of Dewayne's Body Shop in Sonora, is an auto body instructor at Columbia College. He is also an 101st Airborne Rangers veteran.

Gipe's niece, Diane Pemberton of Salinas, told the Monterey County Herald that Gipe went on with Cunningham Tuesday as he flew Reese to Monterey so she could pick up her own plane there.

Cunningham was preparing to land his single-engine Cessna 210 Centurion about 3:20 p.m. at the Monterey Peninsula Airport. The aircraft then clipped a Monterey pine tree with its right wing, shearing off the tip.

The plane spun around, sliding tail first down onto a Monterey Pines Golf Course fairway, about 300 yards from the airport. It came to rest on its right side with the right wing crushed beneath it.

The wing's tip was lodged in the tree.

The plane wreckage was taken to a recovery yard in Pleasant Grove, in Sutter County, for examination and to determine the cause of the crash.