A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on a California freeway Monday after experiencing mechanical failure, according to officials.
The single-engine plane was able to land on Interstate 5 in the San Clemente area without any injuries reported or vehicles hit, according to the California Highway Patrol. The Piper PA24 was carrying only the pilot, an FAA official told CNN affiliate KGTV.
The aircraft departed John Wayne Airport in Orange County headed to San Diego’s Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport when it began having mechanical issues, the CHP said.
The pilot, who has 18 years of flying experience, waited for a break in vehicles before guiding the aircraft onto the freeway, CHP officials told KGTV. He maneuvered the plane off the road to the gravel shoulder, where it was waiting for removal Monday afternoon.
The pilot told CHP that he credited his experience and luck for safely landing the plane.
While all lanes of the freeway were open, the California Department of Transportation warned that traffic was likely to remain heavy in the area because of motorists looking at the plane.