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This experimental aircraft landed on Boy Scout Camp Road Friday, March 26.
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The plane ran into the brush near Boy Scout Camp Road.
By Patric Hedlund
A star dropped from the sky into Lockwood Valley Friday evening, March 26. Richard Van Vleet (an actor who played Dr. Chuck Tyler on the daytime hit All My Children for 13 years) landed his experimental aircraft on Lockwood Valley Road when the small plane suddenly lost power.
Mountain Community resident Lori Hallmark sent a “breaking news” report to this newspaper to say she had seen what appeared to be a crashed homemade plane on Boy Scout Camp Road.
“It doesn’t look like anyone was hurt,” Hallmark said.
Lockwood Valley Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy William Hollowell and Senior Deputy Ryan Clark responded. They found the unoccupied, single engine aircraft off the northbound shoulder of the roadway.
A passer-by told deputies that he saw the craft go down on the road and collide with brush near the shoulder. The witness said he had stopped for the pilot and co-pilot, who were exiting the aircraft uninjured.
The pilots explained their engine power had failed. The witness transported them to a restaurant in Lebec.
The plane incurred moderate damage when the landing gear failed. During their investigation, deputies confirmed the details of the emergency landing with pilot and owner Van Vleet, 68 of Ventura and his co-pilot Ralph Simon of Kahulu, Hawaii.
Sr. Deputy Clark observed that, though small, the craft had two seats and a standard instrument panel but an unusual control stick between the two seats. In interviews, Van Vleet referred to it as a Q2 experimental plane that he flies from Mojave to Oxnard. Notifications were made to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the accident, deputies said.
Van Vleet came to pick the plane up on Saturday to take it back to Ventura for repairs. As they struggled to get it onto a truck, a friend joked that Van Vleet was not earning actor’s wages for the day’s work. Deputy Clark took a good look and confirmed for himself on the internet that Dr. Tyler had indeed dropped in for a surprise visit last week.
This is part of the April 02, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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