Homemade Plane Lands on State Route 67

The 79-year-old pilot made an emergency landing in Santee after running into engine trouble

By Monica Garske
|  Sunday, Jul 22, 2012  |  Updated 10:32 AM PDT
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Homemade Plane Lands on State Route 67

Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick

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A small, homemade plane made an emergency landing on State Route 67 in Santee Saturday, CHP officials confirmed.

According to authorities, the plane was being flown by 79-year-old El Cajon resident Wayne Oehler just before 10 a.m. After taking off from Gillespie Field, Oehler reported trouble with the plane’s engine.

A CHP officer in Santee noticed the small airplane flying low and attempting to land.

The officer initiated a traffic break and Oehler was able to make a safe emergency landing on the SR-67 freeway at the Riverford Road off-ramp near Woodside Avenue, sheriffs said.

Nobody was injured in the emergency landing.

CHP said the pilot told officers he had built the aircraft himself over the course of the past 10 years. Oehler also told authorities he had successfully flown the plane before.

By 11 a.m. the plane was idle on Riverford Road, waiting to be towed. The off-ramp remained closed, but the rest of the freeway lanes were open.

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