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Small plane crash lands on freeway in LA area



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 19th 05, 04:44 AM
Skywise
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Default Small plane crash lands on freeway in LA area

PASADENA, California (AP) -- A small plane crashed onto a heavily traveled
freeway, clipping a vehicle and injuring two people aboard the plane,
authorities said Saturday.

The 1952 Beech Bonanza V35 had engine failure late Friday due to a fuel
problem on its way from Sacramento to Fullerton and crashed onto the Ventura
Freeway, fire Capt. Ed Cowan said.

Its wing clipped a vehicle, but the driver was not injured.

The plane's male pilot had cuts to his head and eye, and a female passenger
had neck pain.

Both were in stable condition at a hospital.

The crash closed sections of the freeway for about five hours as crews
removed the wreckage and cleaned up a small fuel leak, Cowan said.

"The good fortune is at this time of night there's not a lot of freeway
traffic," Cowan said. "It could have been worse than it was."

Brian
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  #2  
Old June 19th 05, 04:48 AM
Peter R.
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Skywise wrote:

The 1952 Beech Bonanza V35


They made V35 Bonanzas back in 1952? I figured that would have been more
like the year of the A35 models.


--
Peter


















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  #3  
Old June 19th 05, 05:00 AM
George Patterson
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Peter R. wrote:

They made V35 Bonanzas back in 1952? I figured that would have been more
like the year of the A35 models.


I found several references to 1952 C35s. No As or Vs.

George Patterson
Why do men's hearts beat faster, knees get weak, throats become dry,
and they think irrationally when a woman wears leather clothing?
Because she smells like a new truck.
  #4  
Old June 19th 05, 02:51 PM
David Rind
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Skywise wrote:
"The good fortune is at this time of night there's not a lot of freeway
traffic," Cowan said. "It could have been worse than it was."


I saw this article last night, and noticed how it showed the usual sort
of confusion about losing power in a small plane.

The speaker, and presumably the reporter, seemed to think it was a
random event that the plane ended up on a freeway. It doesn't seem to
have occurred to them that the pilot likely chose that spot specifically
because, at that time of night, there was not likely to be a lot of
traffic and it was a place that was lit.

--
David Rind


  #5  
Old June 19th 05, 07:36 PM
Larry Dighera
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The author of story below sure knew how to get the human interest
angle. So while hysterical motorists get all the sympathy, the
severely injured pilot gets barely a mention. So much for unbiased
journalism.

The story indicates that the California Highway Patrol estimated the
Bonanza's speed at 90 mph. Wouldn't the pilot have attempted to touch
down at about 50 knots? If not, why not. Perhaps he was tracking a
traveling hole in the traffic?

It looks like Mr. Baxter was well qualified:

Airmen Database Search Result

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name : BAXTER, J BARRY
Airman's Address : XXXXXXXX
BREA, CA, 92823-6323
FAA Region : Western/Pacific
Date of Medical : Nov, 2004
Class of Medical : 2
Expiration of Class 2 privileges : Nov, 2005
Airman Certificates : Commercial Pilot
Airplane Single Engine Land
Airplane Multiengine Land
Rotorcraft Helicopter
Instrument Airplane and Helicopter
: Flight Instructor
Airplane Single Engine
Instrument Airplane
Rotorcraft Helicopter
: Mechanic
Airframe
Powerplant

-------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,7573410.story

June 19, 2005 story

Drivers Spot Plane in Rearview Mirror
Aircraft barely misses a vehicle and clips another as the pilot tries
to land on the Ventura Freeway.

By Wendy Thermos, Times Staff Writer

Talk about something coming at you out of the blue.

When David Sarraf of Beverly Hills saw a crippled small plane about to
smack into the rear of his car on the Ventura Freeway in Pasadena,
about all he could do was put himself on autopilot.

"I can't believe it, that a plane almost hit me. I'm still in shock,"
he said Saturday as he described the crash-landing of a single-engine
plane shortly before midnight Friday.

"I was swerving right and left. It felt like a dream. Everything was
in slow motion."

The aircraft, a 1951 Beechcraft Bonanza en route from Oregon to
Fullerton, clipped a Jeep Cherokee as the pilot tried to land in the
westbound lanes near Orange Grove Avenue. It spun 360 degrees and
landed upside down near the median.

Paramedics extricated pilot Barry Baxter, 63, of Brea and passenger
Dawn Hess, 48, of Downey from the crumpled fuselage.

Baxter was hospitalized with major injuries that were not believed to
be life-threatening; Hess received minor injuries.

"There's not a whole lot you can do if a plane is about to land on the
freeway," said California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos.
But he added that the late hour meant the normally busy freeway had
only light traffic.

All lanes in both directions were closed for five hours while the
wreckage was removed.

The CHP said the plane had "an unknown engine malfunction" and that
both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National
Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

The Jeep's owner, Charles Redmond, 18, of Glendale was unhurt. But he
was "in complete shock" as he and Sarraf huddled on the shoulder of
the freeway and dialed 911.

Redmond, traveling west after dinner with his girlfriend in Monrovia,
didn't see the plane coming up behind his bronze 1997 SUV and thought
he'd been rear-ended by a car. Pulling over, he spotted the plane
wreckage and realized how close he'd come to disaster.

"I could have been squashed like a bug," said Redmond, a recent
graduate of La Salle High School in Pasadena who will attend USC in
the fall.

For Sarraf, 31, who operates a snack-food business, the episode was
doubly harrowing because he mistook Redmond's vehicle for one being
driven by his wife, Michelle, 28, whom he'd been following home from a
family outing in Arcadia. She had their baby daughter in the back
seat.

The couple had gone to a celebration marking their daughter Talia's
first birthday and the college graduation of Sarraf's cousin.

Struggling to stay awake, Sarraf had glanced out the passenger window
and was stunned to see the left wing of an airplane overtaking him in
the next lane.

Sarraf and Redmond said the plane came up silently. The CHP estimated
its speed at 90 mph. The cars were traveling about 65.

After barely missing Sarraf's black 2004 sedan, the aircraft barreled
toward Redmond's vehicle.

"I was honking like crazy and flashing my brights to warn my wife, who
I thought was in there," he said.

When the wing hit the vehicle, "my heart sank and I started shaking,"
he said. "I thought about my baby. I had tucked her in nicely in the
[child] seat and I hoped the seat belt would hold tight."


  #6  
Old June 19th 05, 09:56 PM
john smith
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Larry Dighera wrote:
The story indicates that the California Highway Patrol estimated the
Bonanza's speed at 90 mph. Wouldn't the pilot have attempted to touch
down at about 50 knots? If not, why not.


The Bo won't fly that slow without power.
  #7  
Old June 19th 05, 10:13 PM
RST Engineering
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Having done this twice now, once on a freeway and once on a dragstrip, I can
assure you that the last thing you want to do is get to your point of
intended touchdown needing just another five knots or fifty feet --
ESPECIALLY in something as slippery as the Bo.

In the freeway case, I saw my opening in the lineup of cars, came across
each of them at about 80 knots at 50' agl or so and gave them a chance to
slow up, which they did. I then slowed up to 50 to hit my opening, but
didn't count on the clapped-out Datsun in the right lane going uphill with
six kids in the back at (generously) 30 mpg.

With another 5 knots to play with, I could have leapfrogged the Datsun.
That wasn't an option once the committment was made. Gliders run out of
potential and kinetic energy pretty much simultaneously.

Jim



"john smith" wrote in message
...
Larry Dighera wrote:
The story indicates that the California Highway Patrol estimated the
Bonanza's speed at 90 mph. Wouldn't the pilot have attempted to touch
down at about 50 knots? If not, why not.



  #8  
Old June 19th 05, 10:39 PM
Larry Dighera
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 20:56:34 GMT, john smith wrote in
::

Larry Dighera wrote:
The story indicates that the California Highway Patrol estimated the
Bonanza's speed at 90 mph. Wouldn't the pilot have attempted to touch
down at about 50 knots? If not, why not.


The Bo won't fly that slow without power.


Vs is about 65 knots, isn't it? In ground effect it should be able to
fly even slower.
  #9  
Old June 19th 05, 11:08 PM
A Lieberman
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 21:39:04 GMT, Larry Dighera wrote:

Vs is about 65 knots, isn't it? In ground effect it should be able to
fly even slower.


Wouldn't ground effect be less effective without a turning prop? (assuming
total engine failure)

Allen
  #10  
Old June 20th 05, 12:02 AM
Larry Dighera
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 17:08:54 -0500, A Lieberman
wrote in ::

On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 21:39:04 GMT, Larry Dighera wrote:

Vs is about 65 knots, isn't it? In ground effect it should be able to
fly even slower.


Wouldn't ground effect be less effective without a turning prop?
(assuming total engine failure)


It is my understanding that ground effect occurs when the wing is
within half a wingspan of the runway surface. It acts to diminish
wingtip vortices which reduces induced drag, and permits the aircraft
to continue flying at a speed slower than the speed at which the wing
would normally stall at a higher altitude AGL.

There is some technical discussion of ground effect he
http://whitts.alioth.net/Pagec7landings.htm#GE_
http://www.whittsflying.com/page4.70...%20Landing.htm
http://cafe.ou.edu/flightdeck/app5.html
http://www.avweb.com/news/airman/185905-1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect
http://avstop.com/AC/FlightTraingHan...undEffect.html
http://www.se-technology.com/wig/htm...en=aero&code=0
 




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