Plane Lands in Ladd Canyon After Power Failure

March 14, 2022

Mar. 11—LA GRANDE — The pilot of a small plane made an emergency landing on the southeast edge of Ladd Canyon on Interstate 84 on Thursday, March 10.

The landing was made by Portland pilot Brian Moentenich, 74, whose plane lost power at an altitude of 8,000 feet, according to Lt. Daniel Conner of the Oregon State Police. The plane landed safely in the westbound lanes of I-84 about 14 miles southeast of La Grande at about 2 p.m.

"He had to land between semis," Conner said.

Some truck drivers, Conner said, pulled their vehicles off to the side of the freeway to allow the plane space to land.

Soon after the plane landed, an aircraft mechanic was brought in to repair the engine. Once the mechanic's work was completed the pilot and his passenger, Elizabeth-Anne Hall, 68, of Portland, took off from the same stretch of freeway. The takeoff was made after traffic was slowed on the interstate to create space for the plane's pilot to taxi, Conner said.

Hall and Moentenich were not injured and both said they were appreciative of the help they were receiving from the OSP and the Oregon Department of Transportation, which were controlling traffic.

"They were very grateful," Conner said.


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