No injuries when plane lands on street

Dec. 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

LONGMONT, Colo., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A pilot did an "absolutely amazing" job of landing his crippled plane safely on a street in Longmont, Colo., an airport manager says.

Tim Barth, airport manager at Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont, said the pilot, John Pritchard of Lafayette, and his teenage daughter were returning to Boulder from Plattsmouth, Neb., in a Piper Cherokee Archer II when they began having engine trouble Sunday, the Longmont Times-Call reported Monday.

Longmont police Sgt. James Sawinska said Pritchard received permission to divert to Vance Brand, but he soon discovered the plane would not make it.

"He had a choice of the roadway or off to the side," Sawinska said.

Barth said Pritchard landed the plane on a narrow stretch of Hover Street without causing any injuries or property damage.

"This is absolutely amazing," Barth said, noting the landing's degree of difficulty was high because of holiday traffic and nearby lighting and trees. "There is no wiggle room."

Authorities said the cause of the engine failure was under investigation.

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