Monday, January 21, 2013

Oroville, California: Aircraft force landed on Highway 70

Gary Watts of Paradise collects parts of a plane scattered along Highway 70 after the aircraft made an emergency landing near Pentz Road on Sunday. 
(Photo Credit:  Christina Rafael)

OROVILLE -- A Paradise pilot and his young passenger made a safe emergency landing in the middle of Highway 70 late Sunday afternoon, after a possible propeller malfunction. 

 "So glad they could land on the highway and not someplace it could cause trouble," said the pilot's father- in-law, Gary Watts of Paradise.

California Highway Patrol received a 9-1-1 call from a passing motorist at 3:43 p.m. and officers were able to safely push the yellow plane to the side of the road.

The pilot — Ron Wilson of Paradise — was on a joyride with his son when they detected a malfunction and pulled up on the wings to safely land on Highway 70, near Pentz Road, said Watts.

Shortly before being escorted home by the CHP, Wilson stated that he had "no idea" what went wrong with the propeller.

This was the second emergency landing on Highway 70 this week.

On Thursday, pilot John Schneider, 67, of Jamestown safely landed his Cherokee Piper 180 airplane on the highway, near Cherokee Road, after a rod blew through the left side of the engine.