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Experimental plane makes forced landing near NLV airport


Steve Marcus

Investigators look over an experimental plane after the pilot made a forced landing on Rancho Drive near Texas Station Friday, October 30, 2009.

Updated Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 | 8:02 p.m.

Forced landing

Investigators look over an experimental plane after the pilot made a forced landing on Rancho Drive near Texas Station on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. Launch slideshow »

Landing location

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash-landing of a home-built plane near Texas Station in northwest Las Vegas on Friday.

Two people were on board the aircraft. Both were taken to University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The experimental Dragonfly Mark II had left North Las Vegas Airport for a flight and had intended to return to the airport when the plane’s engine failed shortly after takeoff, the FAA said.

According to the FAA, the aircraft, which was built in 1992, is owned by Yun Chieh Tang of Las Vegas. It is unknown if Tang was on the plane.

The pilot landed on a sidewalk along Rancho Drive about 4:50 p.m., about a half mile southwest of the airport, the FAA said.

The plane clipped a sport utility vehicle and broke the vehicle’s windshield, officials said. There was substantial damage to the plane, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Jim House of Las Vegas said he was driving when the plane flew over his car and crashed into a nearby white Chevy Tahoe. Two men walked out of the plane, he said.

“One was older and the other was a younger man,” House said. “It looked like the older man had been driving the plane.”

The driver of the Chevy Tahoe, Candace Porter of Las Vegas, said she didn’t panic when the plane hit her vehicle. “I called work and told them I got hit by an airplane,” she said.

“Now, I just have to deal with insurance,” she said.

Zoa Varela and her 9-year-old grandson, Alexander, were at home down the street at the time of the crash. “We heard a loud noise and rushed to see what it was,” Varela said.

Firefighters contained a small fuel spill, said Capt. Cedric Williams of the North Las Vegas Fire Department. The plane landed in the city of Las Vegas, he said. Rancho Drive divides Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.

Authorities blocked off Rancho Drive to vehicle traffic while emergency crews and investigators combed the site.

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