Jim Roth, an engineer from Thousand Oaks, was the pilot and only occupant of the single-engine Cessna 210 went it came down at Glenwood Road near Grandview Avenue and San Fernando Road at about 8:30 p.m. Monday. The plane landed on its roof in a yard on the side of the road.
The aircraft struck three power poles and a tree upon crashing, leaving 2,100 customers in the surrounding area without power, according to Glendale Water and Power. That number was reduced to 300 by Tuesday morning as crews restored all power before 4 p.m. Three homes were also evacuated. No homes were damaged, but an SUV did receive a dent to the bumper.
Roth was able to crawl out of the plane and had only minor injuries. He complained of back and shoulder injuries and pain in his arm when crews arrived at the scene. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. No one else on the ground was injured.
With his wife by his side, Roth thanked everyone who helped him.
"We're very, very thankful that everybody on the ground was safe and no one was hurt. We really thank the residents on that street for coming so quickly and helping me and helping the other neighbors," Roth said, adding that he was grateful for the service of emergency crews and doctors.
Roth was en route to Van Nuys from Phoenix when he reported engine trouble to air traffic controllers. Air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact with the plane about 3 miles southeast of Van Nuys Airport around 8 p.m. Authorities said Roth was trying to make it to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.
"The lines were actually wrapped around the aircraft itself, and those lines were hot, our personnel had to be very careful when they went up to help him out of the aircraft and make sure nobody was electrocuted," said Glendale Fire Battalion Chief Greg Godfrey.
"He's extremely lucky," Godfrey added. "I think anybody who's been involved in a plane crash and can talk about it is probably few and far between to find."
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what caused the plane's engine trouble.