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Carlsbad veterinarians’ Piper aircraft makes emergency landing on I-5

DEL MAR — A small Piper aircraft registered to two Carlsbad veterinarians made an emergency landing Tuesday 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. Flight-track logs show the plane topped out at 1,800 feet before descending rapidly at approximately 1,000-feet per minute.

As of publication, there is no clear cause for the apparent emergency landing.

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.

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. One of the vehicle’s passengers told television news stations that 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 flight path of a small Piper Cherokee aircraft on Tuesday at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego. Courtesy photo
The flight path of a small Piper Cherokee aircraft on Tuesday leaving Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego and landing on Interstate 5 near Via de la Valle in Del Mar. Courtesy photo

The San Diego Fire Department responded to the incident, closing off southbound traffic lanes to clean up the scene.

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. Osmond’s bio on the California Veterinary Specialists website says he “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.

The Coast News reached out to Osmond at his veterinarian office this afternoon and was told he was currently in a procedure.