SAN ONOFRE, Calif. (AP) — The pilot of a small plane that lost engine power made a safe emergency landing on a Southern California highway, authorities said.
After rejecting the Pacific Coast Highway as a possible landing spot because it was too narrow, the pilot opted to set the Piper PA24 down on Interstate 5, the Orange County Register reported.
He timed the landing for a break in traffic around 12:45 p.m. on Monday near Camp Pendleton, said California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe.
“The pilot … landed (the plane) on the freeway lanes without hitting any vehicles and veered to the right shoulder to remove the aircraft from the (roadway),” Latulippe said.
The 55-year-old pilot, the sole occupant of the late 1950s-model plane was en route from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego when the engine failed, the newspaper reported.
The plane was loaded onto a truck and hauled to Oceanside Municipal Airport for repairs, Latulippe said.