Plane Crash-lands at Southland Mall

JULY 27, 1999

A plane crash landed in the parking lot of Southland Mall Monday morning after its engine stalled during the final approach to Hayward Airport.

The pilot, Thomas Goff, was flying from Yuba City to Hayward on business. The aircraft, a four-seat Piper Cherokee, belongs to a friend.

According to Bruce Nelson of the Federal Aviation Administration, Goff was perhaps 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground before he ran into trouble.

Goff had tried to switch fuel tanks after his engine cut out about 10:20 a.m. a half mile from the airport runway. When that didn't work he tried to set down on the closest asphalt area he could spot, in the parking lot between Macy's and La Playa Drive.

Just as the plane was about to land, a vehicle crossed in front. Goff immediately tried to pull up in altitude but the aircraft "pancaked" on the ground and skidded about 120 feet. Goff was not injured

Goff is a National Guard pilot who has flown for 30 years and never before had an accident. The crash-landing comes just two days after a similar incident Saturday, when a Cessna 172 had to make an emergency landing on Interstate 80 near the Ashby Avenue exit. (See Small Plane Lands on Freeway.)

Sources: Daily Review, San Leandro Times