Hayward Plane Lands on Castro Valley Freeway

MAY 25, 2004

An airplane based at Hayward Airport ran out of fuel and made an emergency landing on a local freeway yesterday.

The plane landed in the westbound lanes of I-580 just west of Strobridge Avenue near the Highway 238 interchange in Castro Valley. It took off from the Hayward Airport about 5 a.m. and was on its way back when the propeller stopped shortly before 8:30 a.m.

The aircraft, a Cessna 172, was being operated by Valley Air to observe and report freeway traffic for KCBS Radio. The traffic reporter on board, Carl Thomas, was interviewed on KCBS shortly after the emergency landing. In the interview Thomas said the pilot chose to land on the freeway after observing that several nearby school grounds were occupied by children.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed that the plane's fuel tanks were empty. They would not release the name of the pilot.

The plane was returned to the airport on a flatbed truck.

Sources: Daily Review and San Leandro Times