HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — A small plane was forced to use a busy Huntington Beach street as a runway Friday afternoon when the aircraft developed engine trouble.
The plane was headed to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when it made the smooth and safe landing on the roadway.
Authorities were notified just before 5 p.m. that the plane was down in the area of Hamilton Avenue and Newland Street.
The pilot avoided cars despite the fact the street was busy at rush hour.
Aviation officials found the plane had made a safe emergency landing, Huntington Beach Police Officer Angela Bennett said.
The plane was a Cessna 172. It landed about five miles southwest of the airport. As it came in for a landing, the pilot deftly kept the plane from hitting power lines.
CBS2’s Stu Mundel said the female pilot was the only one on board.
She reportedly told air-traffic controllers she was having engine trouble just before putting the plane down.
KCAL9’s Laurie Perez spoke to witnesses who could not believe what they were seeing.
“I went ‘Oh, my gosh! There’s a plane on the street, no way,” said Vivien Murphy, a store manager.
Witnesses also marveled at the pilot’s calm demeanor.
“She was just calm like this, just calm,” said Patrick Simes, “Not doing anything, engine still on.”
The plane is registered to JG Capital Holdings out of Los Angeles. The pilot’s name was not released. Perez reported the pilot was also a student from the Orange County Flight Center.
Neighbors said whatever her name is, it’s something short of a miracle that the plane didn’t even get a scratch.
“To me,” says Steven Castelblanco, “it’s an absolute miracle. She had to really keep her head on straight to keep that plane from hitting not only cars but homes and there’s a park, a lot going on.”
There were no reports of injuries or damage.