Sun, July 21

Camp Verde pilot makes pair of emergency landings on Tuesday

Camp Verde pilot Art Hanson had one of those days he won't soon forget.

On Tuesday morning, Hanson took off from his home at Montezuma Air Park, just above Cliff Castle Casino. Soon afterward he began loosing power.

Not wanting to land in Hauser & Hauser's farm field and tear up the crops, Hanson opted to land on Interstate 17.

He managed to land the aircraft on the southbound lane and taxi it off to the center median without incident.

Fuel was brought to his aircraft, as was a new set of spark plugs, and the airplane was restarted.

"It was running pretty good," Hanson said, "or at least it appeared to be."

Hanson took off from the interstate, but just moments later the aircraft began losing power again.

Told jokingly before taking off form the freeway that the next flat spot was off Finnie Flat Road next to the Bashas', Hanson banked his airplane and landed on one of the tumbleweed-strewn roads of the yet to be built Simonton Ranch Subdivision.

Neither Hanson nor his airplane was damaged in either one of the emergency landings.

"In 64 years of flying, this is the first time I have made an off runway landing, and I did it twice in one day," Hanson said.

Both landings were the result of magneto failure, according to Hanson. The plane's wings were stripped on the site of the second landing before the plane was loaded on a trailer for the ride home.

Asked at the scene by one of the Camp Verde deputies if he thought he ought to take his good fortune down the hill to the casino, Hanson said, "Actually I think it's time for lunch and a beer."