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3 hurt when aircraft lands on US 95 near Kyle Canyon Road

Updated January 7, 2023 - 8:38 pm

Three people were injured Saturday northwest of Las Vegas when a single-engine training school plane forced to land onto the southbound lanes of U.S. 95 was hit by a passing vehicle.

The pilot of the Diamond DA20-C1 model aircraft made an emergency landing on the highway near Kyle Canyon Road at about 9:40 a.m., said Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Around the time the single-propeller plane landed, a driver of a passing SUV struck the left wing, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The two people from the aircraft and the driver of the SUV, none of whom were immediately identified, suffered with nonlife-threatening injuries and were transported by Las Vegas Fire Department to University Medical Center , the NHP reported.

The FAA will be handling the local investigation into why the pilot had to make an emergency landing.

“It’s been classified as an accident,” said Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board. “We’ll be relying on the FAA for the on-scene documentation.”

Meanwhile, Jake Grusman, a flight instructor for AirWork Las Vegas who happened to be on a training flight with a student in the area when the DA20-C1 landed, said that from the air, he witnessed the blue SUV crash into the plane.

The control tower at North Las Vegas Airport asked him to fly over the stopped plane, radio the pilots to see if they were OK and then circle his plane around until emergency service units could arrive. He said he circled for about 15 minutes.

“They landed on the 95 and they did so without any issue,” Grusman said of the DA20-C1’s pilots. “It was a pretty solid outcome of a scary situation.”

The landed plane’s left wing protruded into the highway’s southbound right lane, but cars coming by moved into the left lane with no problems until the driver of the SUV came up, apparently didn’t see the wing and crashed the front of the vehicle into it, Grusman said.

The collision caused the plane to turn and the right wing struck at least one of the pilots on the ground, he said.

Grusman said a radio transmission from the pilots indicated that the emergency landing became necessary because of a fuel gauge problem.

A photo posted on Twitter by the NHP at about 1 p.m. Saturday showed the smashed front windshield of the SUV.

The fiberglass, fixed-wing plane powered by a piston engine, is operated by a flight school, Chennault Flying Service, based at North Las Vegas Airport, 2730 Airport Drive, where AirWork is also located.

After the collision, the two-seat plane ended up facing north on the shoulder of the right southbound lane of the highway.

Two workmen for the Chennault school showed up and started removing the craft’s expansive wings from the fuselage to ready the pieces for transport on a flat bed truck.

The Highway Patrol placed flares and cones for a brief time on a short stretch of the southbound lane of U.S. 95 near the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, but traffic appeared little affected.

The owner and registered agent of the flight school is listed as Joe Chennault, according to the Nevada secretary of state’s website.

The plane was manufactured by Diamond Aircraft, based in Austria, in 2000, according to the FAA’s website.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@review-journal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on Twitter.

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