By Maureen Robertson
Emergency crews responded to two experimental airplane mishaps in the area Sunday morning, one in Ramona and one in Valley Center.
The first incident occurred at Ramona Airport at 8:30 a.m., reported CalFire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler. The pilot, a Florida man, was doing touch-and-goes when the Midget Mustang he had recently purchased went off the south side of the runway about midfield, slammed into the mud and flipped over onto its top, said Ramona Airport Manager Bo Donovan.
The pilot suffered minor injuries that included cuts and scratches and a bruise on his left thigh. He was examined by paramedics and chose not to go to the hospital, said Donovan. The plane had major damage.
The pilot reported that, as he was doing the touch-and-goes, he heard a loud noise, checked the aircraft’s controls and maneuvers, and everything seemed fine as he came in for a landing. Some kind of mechanical failure apparently prevented the pilot from controlling the aircraft, and it went left off the runway, said Donovan.
The pilot was trapped in the plane for a short time, said Donovan, adding that sheriff’s deputies and others in the area helped him out.
According to Schuler, the second mishap occurred at 11:50 a.m. at the east end of Lake Wohlford Road in Valley Center. The aircraft had a hard landing, resulting in the pilot receiving minor injuries. He was taken to Palomar Medical Center.
The cause of the accident is being investigated, said Schuler.