Chesterton Tribune

Pilot makes emergency landing of small plane on 49

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The pilot of an airplane with engine trouble succeeded in landing his craft on Tuesday on Ind. 49 in Valparaiso.

Both the pilot and his passenger escaped uninjured and no one on the ground was hurt, Valparaiso Police said.

According to police, at 3:40 p.m. the VPD began receiving calls about a low-flying plane, possibly with engine trouble, in the area of Ind. 49 and LaPorte Ave. Two minutes later, at 3:42 p.m. the pilot landed his single-engine plane in the southbound lanes of Ind. 49.

The VPD identified the pilot as Anthony Vendramin, 69, of Hobart, who confirmed that his plane had been “experiencing engine problems prior to landing on the highway.”

Federal Aviation Administration personnel responded to the scene and began an investigation, police said. The plane itself was loaded on the back of a flat-bed tow truck and transported to its point of origin, the Porter County Regional Airport (PCRA).

PCRA Director Kyle Kuebler was unable to provide any further information about the incident, other than confirming that Vendramin at some point earlier in the day had taken off from PCRA.

“We don’t have a tower,” Kuebler told the Chesterton Tribune. “It’s an uncontrolled airport. He departed as a normal flight and had problems on his return. It’s not necessary to file a flight plan.”

Det. Sgt. Chuck Rinker of the Chesterton Police Department was himself southbound on Ind. 49 on Tuesday and reached Vendramin’s plane shortly after he landed it. “No cars were involved,” Rinker said. “It didn’t even look like there was any damage to the plane. I think he was a really skilled pilot.”



Posted 6/27/2012