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Plane makes emergency landing in Joshua Tree National Park

March 1, 2012 |  8:03 pm

Cessna makes emergency landing
A small plane made an emergency landing in Joshua Tree National Park after the pilot encountered strong winds that caused the aircraft to use excessive fuel, officials said Thursday.

The single-engine Cessna 182 landed shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday on Pinto Basin Road about 8 miles north of Cottonwood Visitor Center, the National Park Service said.

Neither the pilot, identified by the park service as Richard Piccirilli of Sun City, Ariz., nor his female passenger were injured. The plane sustained minor damage to its wings after striking vegetation.

The pilot told authorities that strong head winds caused the plane to use more fuel than normal. The pilot was flying from Pleasant Valley, Ariz., to Hemet.

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-- Robert J. Lopez

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Photo: A Cessna 182 made an emergency landing on a road in Joshua Tree National Park. Credit: National Park Service

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