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Pilot Flips In Forced Landing, Escapes With Minor Injuries

March 3, 1986

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Engine failure forced the pilot of a single-engine plane to use a residential street for an emergency landing that ended with the plane upside down on a parked Cadillac, authorities said.

Rescuers, meanwhile, searched the Pacific near Newport Beach early today for four people believed to have been aboard a light plane that crashed offshore Sunday, but found only wheels, seats and other debris, the Coast Guard said.

The pilot in the Oakland crash, Wilfred T. Hall, 61, of Redding, was pulled from the plane Sunday by onlookeers and apparently escaped with minor injuries, authorities said.

″It could have been a lot worse if he hadn’t done such a nice job of avoiding overhead wires and trees and buildings,″ said Assistant Fire Chief Don Matthews.

He said the plane, a Cessna 172, hit three vehicles and then landed on the Cadillac one block from a fire station, about two miles east of Oakland International Airport.

″The pilot stated he had 39 years of experience flying planes, so he was a guy who knew what he was doing, apparently,″ Matthews said. He said he had no information on the pilot’s name or destination.

The pilot, who was the plane’s sole occupant, told authorities the engine failed.

Hall was taken to Highland Hospital, where he was reported in stable condition.

No other injuries were reported.

The crash was reported by a passer-by at 5:31 p.m., said Police Department communications supervisor Bill Valladon.

Off Newport Beach, 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, searchers found wheels, seats and other pieces of the plane floating in the sea, but failed to turn up any sign of the four people who had been aboard, Coast Guard Lt. Lee Foresman said.

Update hourly