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Traffic-Reporting Plane Lands On Mass. Highway

This article is more than 10 years old.
Firefighters signal other rescue personnel while applying fire retardant foam around a single engine aircraft on Interstate 495, in Mansfield, Mass., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)
Firefighters signal other rescue personnel while applying fire retardant foam around a single engine aircraft on Interstate 495, in Mansfield, Mass., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

A traffic-reporting plane with engine trouble made an emergency landing on a highway southwest of Boston late Tuesday morning, and the two men aboard were uninjured.

The pilot called Norwood Memorial Airport at about 11 a.m. to report that he was having engine trouble and would have to land on Interstate 495 in Mansfield, about 25 miles southwest of Boston, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters.

Peters did not immediately know where the Piper Cherokee was from or where it was headed. The assistant manager of the Norwood airport said he did not think the plane was headed there.

Mansfield fire officials said they arrived on scene at about 11 a.m., and the pilot and passenger were already out of the plane. The two were evaluated by paramedics as a precaution. State police identified the pilot as Matthew Kleindienst, 24, of Stoughton, and the passenger as Brian Souza, 21, of Stoneham.

A plane with the same registration number is listed on the Web site of East Coast Aero Club, a Bedford-based flight school and aircraft rental facility.

Mark Holzwarth, president and owner of East Coast Aero Club, did not immediately return phone calls.

The plane wound up nose-down and with a collapsed undercarriage, taking up nearly all three southbound lanes of the highway. Firefighters used foam and sand to soak up leaking fuel.

The entire southbound side of Interstate 495 in Mansfield remained closed Tuesday afternoon as authorities removed the plane.

Traffic backed up for miles.

This program aired on September 1, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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