Light Plane Makes Safe Emergency Landing on Interstate 8


EL CAJON (CNS) - A light plane occupied by a flight instructor and a student pilot made a safe emergency landing amid late-morning traffic on Interstate 8 in El Cajon today.

The single-engine Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee touched down on the north side of the freeway near Second Street shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

No injuries or collisions were reported, though cellphone video recorded by an occupant of a car traveling along the interstate showed the aircraft landing between several westbound vehicles.

The errant fixed-wing plane blocked several lanes on the freeway until Caltrans personnel were able to roll it onto the nearby Mollison Avenue offramp, allowing traffic to get through the area with minimal disruption.

It was not immediately clear why the pilot of the aircraft decided he had to land on the freeway.

The 39-year-old airplane is registered to Gillespie Field-based So Cal Leasing, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The aircraft was expected to remain on the freeway exit at least into the late afternoon as workers remove its wings so it can be loaded onto a truck and hauled off for repairs, CHP public-affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said.


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