DEL MAR — A small Piper aircraft registered to two Carlsbad veterinarians made an emergency landing this afternoon on Interstate 5 near Via De La Valle in Del Mar.
No injuries related to the incident are known at this time.
A six-seat Piper PA-28 Cherokee light aircraft took off at 11:57 a.m. on Tuesday morning from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego, according to FlightAware.
Just nine minutes after takeoff, the plane made a right-hand turn northbound up the coast before apparently making an emergency landing on southbound lanes of I-5 in Del Mar. According to flight-track logs, the plane topped out at 1,800 feet before descending rapidly at approximately 1,000-feet per minute.
The aircraft “clipped” several vehicles before rolling to a stop against a center-divider wall, said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Two occupants of the damaged cars were taken to a hospital for treatment of apparently minor injuries, including superficial cuts from shattered glass, according to wire reports.
As of publication, there is no clear cause for the apparent emergency landing.
A part of the plane’s wing reportedly came off during the landing and slammed through the back windshield of a vehicle on the highway. According to a television interview with one of the vehicle’s passengers, the plane’s owners were not seriously injured and walked away from the landing.
Additionally, the witness reported seeing plane fuel leaking out of the detached wing that was protruding from the rear of the vehicle, covering some clothing items located in the back seat with fuel.
The San Diego Fire Department responded to the incident, closing off southbound traffic lanes and cleaning up spilled plane fuel.
I-5 southbound lanes surrounding the incident will remain closed through the evening commute, according to Caltrans. The northbound HOV lane will also remain closed.
According to the aircraft’s tail number, the plane is registered to Carlsbad veterinarian Christian Osmond. According to his bio on the California Veterinary Specialists website, Osmond “enjoys flying planes.” The plane’s other co-owner is a clinical veterinary pathologist named John Bjorneby, according to the aircraft’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration.
According to other media reports, both the pilot and a single passenger walked away from the emergency landing.
The Coast News reached out to Osmond at his veterinarian office this afternoon and was told he was currently in a procedure.