Something You Don't See Everyday
I'm going to put this here as I couldn't figure out where else to put it.
Let's file this under something you would NOT expect to see this on a highway, but it happened on US 1 in North Carolina. Motorists were shocked by a small plane landing landing on the southbound lanes. US 1 is a four lane highway through here.
According to the Scotsman News, on November 19th, an 87 year old man landed his 1993 kit built plane southwest of Raleigh after it lost power, always a bad thing to happen when you're in a plane.
He said the road wasn't busy at the time. "When the engine blows, you've got to put it down someplace. Highway 1 was the best I could do. I lucked out." said Frank H. Smith.
Police on the scene asked to see his license, proof of registration, and proof of insurance (sorry, I just had to put that in). Actually, no charges were filed, but the National Transportation Board will investigate.
What do you do with a disabled plane that won't takeoff when you're not at an airport? You have to move it, of course. Smith's problems were not over yet. He had a trailer brought out to tow it away but found he couldn't move it without removing the wings.
He says this mishap will not stop him from flying.
Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. -- RoadDog
It happens more than you might think!
I know a couple of flight instructors in California that used to have their students practice landing aircraft "between the poles" on certain rural routes. And I have personally seen two attempted landings in recent years. There was a pretty famous landing here in Las Vegas a few years back. The pilots I know who have done it, swear it takes years off their lives!
Originally Posted by RoadDog
Thanks for the news post!
But something pilots practice all the time
Actually, this is a scenario that comes up on every check ride a pilot takes. You can be gauranteed that at some point during the flight the inspector or instructor will reach over and turn off the engine (or just throtle it back to idle) and ask you to put it down 'somewhere'. You will then have to find some appropriate landing spot, a field, road, or - if you're lucky - an airstrip, and get the plane set up for a landing. Typically you get to within a few hundred feet off the ground before he is satisfied that you could put it in and lets you resume flight. It's good to see that in Mr. Smith's case, the training paid off.
Originally Posted by AZBuck
Not being a pilot, I wasn't aware that was part of the training protocol. The instructor I know, would make his students go all the way down -- to a full "touch and go"
Depends on the 'strip'
A full touch and go is fine if your chosen 'emergency' landing site is an airstrip of some sort, but in most of my cases it was a farm field or dirt track in the desert, in which case you only want to put down if you absolutely have to.
I was just out on one
I was just out in the desert with this former instructor and he showed my his favorite such road for such touch n goes -- it would have been nutso for even the most skilled of pilots...
Originally Posted by AZBuck
I have been in two slightly out-of-control "landings" (as opposed to the technically correct controlled crashes = landings) one in a twin-engine turbo prop that skidded off the side of a paved runway in a snow storm (I sucked wind on that one) and the other was an auto-rotation manuever to the Portal, Arizona heliport -- helicopters make the darndest racket when there is no engine noise...
Thank you Eisenhower for setting up the highway system with the required straight-aways every few miles... the country has probably 4 billion 'emergency landing strips' in every stretch of highway.
I happened to be witness to such a landing in Washington State. Airplanes landing in front of your car are even harder to see when there's no engine noise. I swear he landed on this 2 lane road through farmland in Snohomish County, touching down about 8 car lengths in front of us... we didn't even realize he flew over us to do so until we saw the Cessna coming to a stop in front of us. Luckily he was kind enough to not come to a full stop until the plane had pulled into a wide dirt parking of a church.
That tops my story!
Great story! I have seen one airborne car make a "landing" in the lanes in front of me, but have yet to chalk up my first airplane. And I have had a couple of close-up encounters with F-16 pilots (close enough to see the pilot's flight helmet) but never with a Cessna. Great story.
Originally Posted by Cascadia4-brad m