Single-engine plane hits car during emergency landing on North Phoenix street


by Catherine Holland

Posted on July 18, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 19 at 9:26 AM

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PHOENIX -- A pilot and a driver are lucky to be alive after the small plane hit a car as it made an emergency landing on Deer Valley Road Sunday afternoon.

It’s happened at about 2 p.m. not far from Deer Valley Airport.

The pilot reportedly was doing a mandatory maintenance test flight after some work had been done on the Bonanza A36. It was not long after taking off from Deer Valley Airport that the trouble began.

The single-engine plane was heading west, toward the airport, when the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing.

“We had a homeowner that was nearby who heard the sputtering of the plane,” said Lt. Tina Gonzalez of the Phoenix Police Department. “He was on his way to another location when he saw the plane had come down.”

As it was coming down, the plane hit the passenger side of an Isuzu Trooper, caving in the side of the vehicle. Luckily, nobody was in the passenger seat.

The wrecked Trooped and the plane, with its wings mangled and its nose gear collapsed, were still sitting in the middle of Deer Valley Road hours after the emergency landing.

The pilot suffered only a broken nose. He was taken to the hospital. The driver of the Isuzu the plane hit was not injured.

“It’s a lucky day for this Isuzu driver,” Gonzales said. “Had there been a passenger, it could have been a whole different story.”

Deer Valley Road was closed between Seventh and 16th streets for several hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board was called in to investigate the emergency landing.