NORTHWEST--Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

July 27, 1993

Plane lands safely on auto racing track

The Keymar man who co-owns and operates the Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown called a halt to the auto racing there Saturday to enble a plane to land on the track.

The single-engine plane circled the track three times before landing safely about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, said Elmer Wachter, co-owner and operator of the drag way.

Competition was in progress when he saw the plane circling the track and temporarily suspended the racing, he said.

"It was an excellent landing. He's a good pilot," Mr. Wachter said.

Carl Tillotson of Somerset, Pa., said he was forced to bring the plane down on the drag way because he was having mechanical problems.

Mr. Tillotson taxied down the raceway, clipping the starting light pole with the plane's left wing.

Mr. Tillotson's wife and daughter were aboard the plane. No one was injured, said Bradford Reaves, a member of the Hagerstown Community Rescue Service.

Mr. Reaves said he was worried that the pilot would not see a power cable on adjoining land. But the pilot pulled the plane up, circled and returned for a safer landing, he said.

The pilot told Mr. Reaves his generator had failed, causing him to lose his controls and radio.

About 1,000 people were at the drag way when the incident occurred.

"It is kind of comical now, but it wasn't at the time," Mr. Wachter said Sunday.


* New Windsor: New Windsor investigated smoke on Main Street at 10:19 p.m. Saturday. Units were out for 15 minutes.

New Windsor responded to a brush fire on Main Street at 2:16 p.m. Saturday. Units were out for 15 minutes.

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