A small plane made an emergency landing in the infield of a thoroughbred horse training track at Double M Stables off Crystal Hill Road in western Garland County Wednesday afternoon, an airport official and a witness said.
Glen Barentine, director of Hot Springs Memorial Field, said the Funk Aircraft took off from the airport at about noon Wednesday. The vintage plane arrived Tuesday morning, he said. The pilot stayed the night and took off the next afternoon.
"I don't know why he had to land," he said. "I think the engine was giving him issues, so he put it down. He didn't go into much detail."
John Ward, owner of Ward's The Crawfish Hole, said he was in the orchard behind his restaurant, "checking on my honeybees," when the plane "came by, just sputtering, and sputtering, and sputtering, going north, I guess you'd say."
"I knew something was wrong, and he came back headed south, and it was real low. I mean, I could almost ... touch the wheels," Ward said.
Ward said he called a friend who works at the barn area and said "there's a plane going down; it's going to be in the infield, and he thought I was kidding. Well, the plane went down, and they had a successful landing, and that was it."
Ward said the plane was "a little sideways coming in," but "he landed pretty smooth."
No injuries were reported.Local on 10/04/2018