Pilot Flies Under Overpass to Make Emergency Landing on California Highway
A quick-thinking pilot managed to land his plane on a California freeway after experiencing an engine failure on Sunday.
According to KTLA, around 7:50 p.m. the Costa Mesa Fire Department received a call about the plane, which was resting on the shoulder of the 55 freeway in Costa Mesa. No injuries or damages were reported, and the two occupants — the pilot and a passenger — were safely outside.
One driver on the highway, Dora Noriega, posted a video to Twitter of the plane just after it landed.
Another Twitter user, Peter Erni, seemed to be impressed with the pilot’s maneuvering, catching a video just as the plane came to a stop.
The pilot only gave his first name to the fire department as “Izzy.” He said that he and his friend were taking a trip to Van Nuys from San Diego when the engine failed.
According to KTLA, Izzy chose to land on the freeway since strong winds prevented him from getting his small plane to John Wayne International Airport. The plane managed to fly under the overpass in order to make a safe landing.
“I saw an opening on the highway and I went for it right away,” the pilot told KTLA. “I had to make a last minute, last second judgement on whether or not we could make it over, and we didn’t have the airspeed to make it over, so I went under it.”
The light traffic on the freeway made it possible to fly into a spot without threatening other cars, however several lanes of the highway had to be closed in order to clear the plane later, causing a back up.
Despite the traffic delay, it was a lucky break for everyone.