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Highway drivers yielded for plane's emergency landing in New London Sunday
Kloeppel, 66, of Newport said he and Principe, 65, of Washington are veteran pilots who were out for a Sunday flight in the airport's plane. They had taken off from Parlin Field in Newport and were headed back there, he said.
As they flew over the New London area, the plane started losing power, and they needed a place to land quickly.
"For me, I travel through New London all the time, and the highway wasn't too busy and there was a trooper parked right there, so when the plane started losing power, it was an obvious thing to do," Kloeppel said.
According to State Police Sgt. William Graham, the plane landed at about 5 p.m. in the area of mile marker 34.2 near Exit 12. After landing and braking on a short strip of the road, Principe pulled the plane into the breakdown lane, and Hurkett assisted from there.
"It was a routine landing on a highway, for me it was simple," Kloeppel said.
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