A single-engine airplane crashed into a gully just southwest of French Valley Airport Friday as the pilot was maneuvering to make a forced landing at the field, leaving him and his passenger injured.

The crash happened about 8:30 a.m. along Sky Canyon Drive, near Borel Road, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Riverside County Fire Department.

According to the FAA, the pilot of the Cessna 210N Centurion, tail No. N4758C, was attempting to make an emergency landing on Runway 36 for reasons still under investigation, but apparently didn’t have the power or altitude to extend his glidepath.

The Cessna went down along a rocky slope in the canal and flipped onto its back before coming to rest, according to officials. No homes were in the immediate vicinity.

Both the pilot and passenger self-extricated from the wreckage. There was no post-crash fire, according to the fire department.

The victims were taken to a regional trauma center for treatment of minor injuries, officials said.

The plane had reportedly originated from Long Beach, but no other details regarding the itinerary were available.

FAA records indicate the plane was manufactured in September 1979.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were sent to the crash site Friday and were expected to release preliminary findings on the accident in about a week.

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