Small plan lands on freeway

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OTAY MESA, Calif – A plane made an emergency landing in the South Bay, on a freeway toll road on Friday.

Just before noon, with clear skies overhead, Jim Truitt, a 30-year veteran pilot said his engine started to stall on his approach to Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

PLANE FREEWAY PIC“When the engine final stopped, that’s when I decided that I was not going to make it to the airport,” said pilot Jim Truitt. “It’s a scenario every pilot trains for, but hopes they never need.”

With every second critical, Truitt radioed into the control tower and made the decision to bring the Cessna 150 down on the northbound side of State Route 125, near the Otay River overpass.

“I declared an emergency and they helped me, and stayed in contact with me all the way until I was on the ground.”

The Cessna-150 is a small and light training plane that can glide to a landing without an engine.

He originally planned to bring the plane down on southbound lanes but then another obstacle.

“A sign came up, so I decided to land on the northbound lane,” said Truitt with a chuckle. “There was no traffic so I went ahead and landed.”

Once the plane was down safely, CHP officers cleared  all southbound lanes of traffic. A truck was used to tow the plane and pilot down the freeway to Brown Field.

Truitt was traveling from Ensenada, a flight he’s piloted many times.  And despite this emergency landing, he says, his landing was perfect.

“If you were with me you would not know we were on the ground.”

No one was injured and the plane was not damaged.


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