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Plane Crash-Lands In Mall Parking Lot; No Injuries

February 10, 1988

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ A single-engine airplane crash-landed Tuesday in the parking lot of a shopping mall, damaging nine cars but causing no injuries, authorities said.

″It was just, kaboom. The cars were like toys, and people just started running towards it (the crash site),″ said Otis Rilley Jr., a security guard at the mall who witnessed the crash.

Pilot Leland G. Turner, 44, told police the engine of his Beechcraft Bonanza failed on approach to Reid-Hillview Airport and he was forced to set it down in the Eastridge Mall lot between a J.C. Penney and Macy’s.

No one on the ground was in the path of the plane, and Turner emerged from the aircraft ″looking concerned and shaken″ but unhurt, said paramedic Dave Bockholt.

The Red Bluff man said the trouble became evident about a half-mile from the airport at about 10:25 a.m., said police Sgt. Dwight Messimer.

The plane glanced a tree in the parking lot before hitting nine parked vehicles, which Messimer said sustained damage ranging from minor to total.

Three Federal Aviation Administration investigators went to the scene to try to determine what caused the accident.

The plane came to rest right-side up, its right wing crushing the tops of two cars and the left wing resting on the side of a mini-van that was knocked over by the impact.

Since 1964, there have been 10 forced landings in the residential and shopping area around the airport, which serves small aircraft only. A safety consultant hired by the county has recommended relocating the airport.

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