Pilot Hurt in Plane Mishap in Pacoima

From a Times Staff Writer

A 68-year-old West Hills pilot escaped with minor injuries after his light plane slammed into two parked aircraft and flipped over while landing Friday at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, officials said.

Robert Maroth lost control of his two-seat Citabria after touching down on the runway about 11 a.m., said Bruce Nelson, a Federal Aviation Administration operations officer.

Officials said the plane bounced once and skidded into a Cessna 150 and a Beechcraft Baron parked near the runway. Both were unoccupied.

The impact crushed the Citabria and the Cessna. Damage to the Beechcraft was minor to moderate, Nelson said.

It wasn't clear why Maroth's landing went awry, Nelson said, but the plane's design could have been a factor. Unlike most small planes, Citabrias have a small tail wheel that makes the rear of the plane hang low to the ground. "They're harder to steer," he said.

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