Insurance adjusters were busy over the weekend at French Valley Airport in Murrieta, Calif., after a Piper Cherokee crashed into a row of parked aircraft Friday. The pilot of the Cherokee 180 was uninjured but the female passenger in a taxiing airplane that was struck suffered minor injuries in the accident. Up to eight parked aircraft were damaged and from the photos appearing in local newspapers at least some of them appear to be write-offs. "I got a phone call that said, 'You better start shopping for a new airplane because yours is in two pieces,'" Cessna 180 owner Roy Haggard told The Californian.
Riverside County Sheriff Sgt. Dean Spivacke told the newspaper the Cherokee was landing when it was hit by a strong crosswind gust. "It was quite breezy today, and he caught a crosswind that threw him off course," Spivacke said. The pilot declined to speak with reporters. Witnesses in an airport restaurant told the paper the Cherokee hit the taxiing 172 first and stopped when it split Haggard's 180 in two. The NTSB and FAA are investigating.