Canopy came open in flight, landed off airport.
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Here is some commentary from the Cozy forum.
Pine Bluff Commercial/Ralph Fitzgerald A television cameraman photographs the damaged aircraft that landed on East Harding Sunday afternoon after the aircraft canopy accidentally opened inflight and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing and struck a vehicle in the process. No injuries were reported.
By Troy Schulte
Pine Bluff Commercial
PINE BLUFF — A small, homemade plane crash-landed about 4 p.m. Sunday on East Harding Avenue but no injuries were reported, Pine Bluff police Lt. Bob Rawlinson said.
Early reports indicated the pilot was headed to Rochester, Minn., after taking off from Monroe, La., earlier in the day. The plane, which was carrying only the pilot, experienced difficulties when the canopy popped open near Pine Bluff and the pilot attempted an emergency landing.
The 1990 Cozy 3 experimental plane skidded for about 500 feet on East Harding before running into an eastbound white Toyota. The plane came to a stop in a ditch in front of the old Landers Brothers Chevrolet.
The Toyota had four occupants and a child in a car seat was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for precautionary reasons.
Around 6 p.m., the small plane was loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to a hangar at Grider Field, where Rawlinson said it will stay until the Federal Aviation Administration conducts an investigation.
A man whom Rawlinson identified as the pilot helped load the plane onto the truck, but he declined to answer questions. Rawlinson declined to release the name of the pilot.
“There’s been a lot of things happening in Pine Bluff the last few years,” Rawlinson said, “but we’ve never had an airplane try to land on East Harding.”
Traffic was light on East Harding and witnesses were scarce. Rawlinson said the only witnesses he could find were those involved in the accident.
Shirley Herron and her granddaughter Jeannie Stivers were traveling east on Martha Mitchell Expressway at about 4:30 p.m. when they heard police sirens heading toward the accident.
They followed the crowd and joined a group of bystanders to watch the cleanup in the Landers Brothers parking lot.
“I could just imagine being the driver of that car,” Herron said. “You’re driving and all of a sudden there’s an airplane in your back window. That would scare me half to death.”
The Toyota also was loaded onto a flatbed truck with its back window broken out, but the plane appeared to have taken the biggest hit.
It appeared to have damage done to both wings and Rawlinson said an object that flew out of the cockpit when the canopy popped open “clipped off a piece of the prop.”
Rawlinson said he didn’t have much information on the pilot, other than to assume he had quite a bit of experience considering the type of plane he was flying and the way the landing was maneuvered.
“Everything worked out as best as it can for an incident like this,” Rawlinson said. “Normally, when something like this happens at least there’s serious injuries or fatalities. Everybody is very fortunate here on East Harding today that this worked out as well as it did.”
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Cozy Plans #749
Santa Fe, NM
Posted By: Brett FerrellWednesday June 9th, 2010 at 9:42 PM