Airplane makes emergency landing on 57 Freeway

POMONA — No one was hurt Wednesday when a small airplane made an emergency landing on the 57 Freeway with the help of a good Samaritan on the ground, authorities said.
The plane touched down about 7 p.m. on the northbound 57 Freeway, just north of Temple Avenue, Los Angeles County fire Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said. No one was injured, and the plane did not strike any vehicles on the freeway.
The pilot of the single-engine, Citabria airplane, a man in his 50s, got some assistance from a good Samaritan motorist driving on the freeway, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Ed Lozano said. He was the only person in the aircraft.
The pilot identified himself as John Findley of Upland.
“Apparently someone in traffic saw that he was going to come in,” Lozano said.
The motorist began zig-zagging across freeway lanes to stop traffic and make room for the airplane, Lozano said.
“The pilot mentioned he saw someone swerving to try and stop traffic for him, and he was able to land the plane,” he said. “That’s what really stopped an accident.”
California Highway Patrol Officer Matt Lentz said the airplane took off from Long Beach.
It was headed to Cable Airport in Upland when the pilot reported engine trouble to air traffic controllers at Brackett Field in La Verne, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Based on the aircraft’s tail number, FAA records indicated it was registered to John Findley of Upland and was built in 1969.
When rescuers arrived, Lozano said, the pilot had brought the plane to a stop on the right-hand side of the freeway. The incident caused traffic to back up significantly on the northbound 57 Freeway.
CHP Sgt. Alex Gonzalez said officials rolled the plane up the 57 Freeway to the 10 Freeway eastbound, then pulled it off at the Fairplex Drive offramp about 9 p.m. From there, Pomona police escorted the plane to Brackett Field.

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