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Small Craft Hits 2 Parked Planes, Hut : Pilot Escapes Injury in Crash at Meadowlark

Times Staff Writer

A single-engine airplane attempting to land at Meadowlark Airport Sunday caromed off the runway, struck two planes parked on the ground and crashed into a Quonset hut, the Huntington Beach Fire Department reported.

The pilot of the Mooney 231 plane, James Blakely, 49, of 16071 Santa Barbara Lane, Huntington Beach, was not injured, Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Boyd said.

It was the second accident at the small airport in eight days.

‘Too Much Power’

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Boyd said the accident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. when Blakely attempted to land.

“He came in with too much power, and he tried to (lift off again) but he didn’t make it,” Boyd said. She said Blakely’s plane bounced off the runway.

The aircraft then hit a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172 parked near the end of the runway before crashing into the hut. Blakely’s plane was “severely damaged” while the other two planes suffered moderate damage to their wings and fuselages, Boyd said.

The Quonset hut, in which Blakely’s plane came to rest, was seriously damaged, she said. A small truck parked by the hut also was damaged, Boyd said. There was no immediate estimate of the total damage.

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Boyd said firefighters had to mop some fuel off the runway but that no fire ignited during the crash. Firefighters also defueled 50 gallons of gasoline from one of the damaged planes, she said.

Criticized by Neighbors

On Sept. 21, a plane crashed near the 30-year-old airport, which has been criticized by nearby residents for years because of noise and potential dangers posed by airplanes that fly low over houses during takeoffs and landings.

In that accident, four people were slightly injured when their single-engine aircraft lost power after takeoff and crashed into a big window at an office building.

Sunday’s accident was the eighth in the past eight years at Meadowlark. There have been no deaths from the accidents.

Paul Bouche, who lives near the airport, said he saw the accident and was concerned about the safety of his neighborhood.

“I don’t mind the noise, but these planes fly too low over the neighborhood,” he said. “Just this morning, some guy flew very low over my house.”


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