2 injured in San Luis Obispo plane crash

2 injured in San Luis Obispo plane crash

Thursday, February 3, 2011
(02-03) 15:50 PST San Luis Obispo, Calif. (AP) —
A vintage World War II spotter airplane crashed on a ranch Thursday, injuring two people.

The pilot of the Aeronca O-58B radioed controllers at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport that he had an emergency and was going down around 9:50 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The plane went over the California Polytechnic campus, dodged some power lines, hit a eucalyptus tree and crashed in a stream bed on a private ranch, said state forestry and fire spokeswoman Es Berliner.

The pilot, from Newport Beach, was able to get out of the cockpit, Berliner said. Firefighters helped an 86-year-old from Paso Robles out of the plane. Both were taken to a hospital, but she didn’t know their conditions.
The plane was built in 1943, registered to Jeff Wells of Newport Beach and stored at the Estrella Warbirds Museum, which displays a collection of military aircraft and vehicles in Paso Robles.

The Aeronca O-58B was used for training, observation and communications and nicknamed the “Grasshopper” by pilots.

© 2011 Hearst Communications Inc.


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