A small vintage plane crashed and burst into flames on the 101 Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County, California, on the afternoon of Oct. 23, prompting lane closures of the freeway in both directions. There were no reported injuries.
The crash was reported around 1:45 p.m. according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), ABC7 reported. It hit the northbound side of the road near the center divider before catching fire. Firefighters arrived at the scene just before 2 p.m. and stamped out the fire.
The pilot sent out an emergency alert around 1:45 p.m. when his engine failed, after taking off from the nearby Van Nuys Airport for a test run, Capt. Johnny Starling told KTLA.
According to Los Angeles County Fire Department, the pilot was not injured, having only singed his hair from the fire. He has 30 years of experience having flown commercial planes.
ABC7 reported that one lane on the northbound side reopened just before 4:30 p.m. and all lanes of the southbound side opened shortly before 11 p.m.
The pilot, whose first name is Rob, said it was fortunate he did not hurt anybody, “other than the airplane.”
“I picked a spot on the freeway, where I knew there was a big section of cars that weren’t there, but the engine completely failed,” Rob told ABC7.
According to KTLA, the aircraft is a modified T-6 Texan from North American Aviation. It is a trainer plane that is popular in airshows.
Starling said the 101 Freeway was a good location to land if there is no rush hour traffic.
“I think he made a good choice,” Starling told KTLA. “He was able to control it and was trying to land on the 101 Freeway but there was a car in front of him.
“So as he landed, touched down, he had to jerk the wheel hard to the left to avoid the vehicle. That’s when he crashed into the center divider.”
Van Nuys Airport is thankful there are no injuries in today’s
plane crash on the 101 freeway. VNY confirms that the AT-6 aircraft is from the
Condor Squadron vintage flying club.
— Van Nuys Airport VNY (@VanNuysAirport) October 23, 2018
The plane was seen having bounced a few times before crashing, according to ABC7.