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Small Plane Crashes Near French Valley Airport In Murrieta

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MURRIETA (CBS) — A single-engine plane crashed in Murrieta Thursday after experiencing engine trouble.

The pilot, who suffered minor injuries, was attempting to make an emergency landing when the accident took place at 9:40 a.m. in an open field near the intersection of Washington Street and Benton Road.

He had just departed the French Valley Airport when his Zenith CH750 began losing power, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Cpl. Courtney Donowho.

“He said he tried to turn around, but was unsuccessful and landed in the field,” Donowho said.

The high-wing aircraft flipped over on impact, according to a Riverside County fire official.

The pilot was offered medical treatment, but told paramedics he didn’t need it.

Accident investigators were headed to the scene, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

Zenith planes are home-built “kit” aircraft that offer short-field takeoff and landing capability. They weigh about 775 pounds empty, according to the designer.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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