On Tuesday, traffic in Southern California was aggravated by a vehicle much larger than your average smart car.
Just after noon, Airman Andrew Cho was flying a single-engine Piper PA-32 toward Corona Municipal Airport.
But something has gone drastically wrong.
As Captain Levi Miller of the California Highway Patrol explained to KTLA, there was “possible engine failure [upon] final descent…”
The aircraft had lost power; where could it land?
In danger above Riverside County Highway 91, Andrew decided to try and join the lunchtime traffic crowd. The shrewd flyer headed himself and a passenger into the middle lanes near Lincoln Avenue, heading east.
Meanwhile, driver Armando Ramirez was on his way from Santa Ana to visit his family.
Andrew negotiated his way between the high-speed vehicles and managed to fit into enough space – mostly.
His plane hit the back of Armando’s pickup.
The plane touched down as a ball of fire shot in all directions. He skidded and swerved. The aircraft veered to the right and crossed the melt lane from the nearby access ramp. He hit the wall, which caused another burst of flames.
Miraculously, the endangered pair from the plane escaped.
The pilot recalled the experience to Channel 5 of Los Angeles:
“It was like a hard bump. Hard to describe. We were four or five feet in the air when the plane completely stalled and fell to the ground.
No one was seriously injured on the aircraft or surrounding vehicles.
The feat was filmed by a car in front of you:
Another angle was captured. Watch Andrew skilfully blend into the traffic:
The plane ended up engulfed:
Here’s what it looked like in the end:
Inside Edition reports that Armando may have suffered a broken taillight. But the fact that nothing worse happened is remarkable to say the least.
According to Andrew, it was the training that saved the day:
“Your training starts and you do the right thing. As long as you don’t panic, you get the best outcome.
According to KTLA, the eastbound lanes were closed for several hours while the crash was investigated and wreckage removed.
The Federal Aviation Association released a statement:
An unidentified small plane landed eastbound on Highway 91 near Interstate 15 in Corona, Calif., around 12:30 p.m. local time today. Two people were on board. The FAA will investigate. The agency does not identify those involved in plane crashes or incidents
Back to Captain Miller:
“[We’re] very lucky today that the traffic was light, and the pilot seems to have had a good landing navigation which avoided what could have been a very bad tragedy.
He can still say it.
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