Pilot of small plane makes emergency landing on 5 Freeway near Camp Pendleton

SAN ONOFRE — — A private pilot at the helm of a handicapped light airplane made a risk-free emergency landing on Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton on Monday.

The 55-year-old flier was en course from John Wayne Airport to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Flight Terminal in Serra Mesa in the early afternoon when the engine of his Piper PA24 failed in the location of the Orange-San Diego region line, according to the California Highway Patrol and also Federal Aviation Management.

“As the pilot descended, he took into consideration Pacific Shore Highway or I-5 southbound as possible landing areas,” CHP public-affairs Police officer Mark Latulippe stated. “As he got closer to the ground, he was worried that Pacific Shore Highway was not wide enough for the wingspan of his airplane.”

About 12:45 p.m., the pilot, the single owner of the late 1950s-model aircraft, identified a well-timed break in traffic on the highway south of Basilone Road and decided his finest option was to establish the airplane down there.

“The pilot … … landed (the plane) on the highway lanes without striking any kind of automobiles and drifted to the ideal shoulder to remove the airplane from the (highway),” Latulippe said.

The emergency landing, which left the much right-hand southbound lane of the interstate blocked briefly, led to heavy blockage in the area through the early afternoon, according to the CHP.

The aircraft was expected to be loaded onto a vehicle and carried to Oceanside Municipal Airport terminal for repair work, Latulippe said.

July 27, 2020

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