Plane Makes ‘Miracle’ Emergency Landing on Southern California Freeway

Jan 29, 2018

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A small plane with a failing engine landed safely amid traffic on the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa, California, Sunday night.

Pilot Izzy Slod, 24, of North Hollywood, and a passenger were flying the single-engine, six-seat 1971 Beechcraft Bonanza G33 to Van Nuys from San Diego when the engine trouble began around 7:40pm. Unable to make it to John Wayne Airport (SNA) because of winds, Slod spotted a stretch of freeway that was free of cars and set the aircraft down on it.

“I saw an opening on the highway and I went for it right away,” Slod told KNBC. “I had to make a last-minute, last-second judgment 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.”

According to the Costa Mesa Fire Department, there were no injuries and the plane was undamaged. Fire Capt. Chris Coatez called the landing on the normally busy highway a “complete miracle.”

Slod said his training prepared him of the landing. The plane was later towed away. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating, and both it and California Highway Patrol didn’t respond immediately to requests for comments.

Photo by Southern Counties News

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