Plane makes emergency landing on Highway 67

SANTEE (CNS) – A CHP officer spotted an airplane with a conked-out
engine and blocked freeway traffic to make room for a safe landing on Route 67
in Santee Saturday, the California Highway Patrol said.

No one was injured as the 79-year-old pilot glided onto the freeway near
Riverford Road and braked to a stop.

A CHP officer was making a traffic stop at about 9:50 a.m. and noticed a
homemade Europa plane flying low to the ground as if in distress, according
to CHP reports. The officer immediately initiated a traffic break on the
northbound side of Route 67 near Woodside Avenue, clearing the road for the
plane to land, CHP Officer Brian Pennings said.

The plane safely landed and came to a stop at the Riverford Road off-
ramp, about one mile away from Woodside Avenue, Pennings said.

The pilot was Wayne Oehler of El Cajon. He told CHP officers that he
left Gillespie Field near El Cajon and encountered engine problems soon after
taking off.

He contacted an airport tower and began to turn around but experienced a
complete engine lock up about three-quarters into his turns.

Oehler pointed the plane towards Route 67 and landed with the help of
the CHP officer who cleared the road.

“The actions they took lead to a safe ending,” Pennings said.

Oehler told officers that he began building the plane in 2000 and
finished it in 2009. He has flown in many times without incident, Pennings
said.

The Riverford offramp was closed in order to remove the plane, but
freeway lanes remained open.

Categories: KUSI