Daring landing caught on camera as plane touches down on busy highway
A Bay Area couple driving along San Leandros' westbound lanes of Highway 580 captured an incredible event on their dashboard camera. A Cessna 172, a small aircraft with a single engine, was forced to make an emergency landing not far ahead of them.
Last Saturday evening, Eric and Brandi Geer were shocked witnesses of the plane which had to land only five miles from its destination due to engine trouble. The couple that recorded it all were engaged in conversation before being startled by the plane coming in above them. Their reaction was one of shock and alarm. KPIX 5 reported on the story in the Youtube video which you can watch below.
According to the reporter, Greer noticed that
"It looked like the pilot waited for a gap in traffic, then drops the plane down near the 164th street exit."
Brandi described how
"He was able to hold that plane up until all the cars got out of the way, and then he landed it and then he immediately went over to the side."
The outcome of the pilot's discretion was that no one was hurt, no vehicles were damaged, and no environmental impact resulted.
In the video, Katie Nielson reported that:
"Even with heavy Saturday night traffic, the plane missed every car."
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Pictures of the plane on 580 W in San Leandro as seen from above. Pics courtesy of @CHPAirOps Golden Gate Division.— Katie Nielsen (@KatieKPIX) August 12, 2018
In the first pic you can see the pilot and passenger talking with @AlamedaCoFire firefighters. @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/9h3jOzwNZe
Eric explains how he tried to slow down traffic behind him in an effort to make other drivers aware of the situation and keep them out of harm's away by "swerving around a little bit, honking the horn, [and] flashing the lights."
Meanwhile, Brandi called 911 immediately and CHP alerted their officers at approximately 6:45 p.m. that night. At 10 p.m. it was able to reach its intended destination by being carried along a flatbed truck to the airport.
Firefighters & @CHPcastrovalley at the scene of an aircraft emergency landing on WB I-580 near the 164th Ave exit in unincorporated San Leandro. Pilot & passenger are ok, no injuries. No injuries to bystanders or vehicles. No damage to plane or freeway. Cause under investigation pic.twitter.com/ZhRJXxPk5h— Alameda County Fire (@AlamedaCoFire) August 12, 2018
KPIX reports that the plane, according to CHP sources, was coming from Lake Tahoe and should have landed at the Hayward Executive Airport, but the pilot observed a fuel pump issue and made the tough call to land on the highway instead.
Brandi expressed to reporters:
"You hear about it on TV, you see it sometimes and you're like,'oh that will never happen.' There are things that happen that are beyond your control and planes do fall out of the sky."
The scene was soon crowded with emergency vehicles in response to the alert. Two lanes were shut down in order to investigate the dramatic occurrence and to await safe removal of the plane.
KPIX says that FAA sources revealed the aircraft was a 1984 Cessna registered to owner Fly Fe LLC in Reno, Nevada. The pilot was asked for an interview but declined the request.
Two months ago, actor and comedian Michael Rapaport also ensured that persons on and around an aircraft were safe when he stopped another passenger on board his flight from opening the emergency exit of the plane. Read what happened here.
A more recent incident occurring last week did not end as well for a Horizon Air employee who stole an airplane to make his last lap in the air. Despite knowing he was loved by friends and family, he spoke to airport staff and revealed his surprising truth. Read about it here.