A Cape Coral pilot made an emergency landing on a four-lane highway in North Carolina when he had no other option. Video from a camera placed on the wing captured the landing.
Cape Coral pilot Vincent Fraser was forced to make the landing when his engine began to fail.
Every pilot trains for something to go wrong hoping they never have to use that training. When Fraser was handed a failing engine and no nearby airport, he handled the moment like a hero.
“I looked at my father-in-law, and I apologized, and I said I’m sorry, but we’re going to make an emergency landing somewhere on these mountains and asked him to help me find the best place to land,” said Fraser.
Fraser, with his father-in-law in the seat next to him, looked for a safe place to put his single-engine 1967 Aero Commander 100 down safely.
They found US Route 19, a mostly straight, flat, but usually busy piece of road.
Fraser knew his engine failed and wouldn’t restart, so he had to make a call. He looked at his wife’s dad and said he loved him, then started to land.
“In my mind, this was the last time I was going to say something to him,” said Fraser.
Fraser is a flight attendant for Allegiant and has about a year’s worth of solo flying experience.
Before living life as a civilian, he was a Marine, and once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine.
“I kind of went into this mentality that I had when I was in the Marine Corps. So, it was just, I had to save Jeff, that’s my objective was to save our lives, and save the people on the ground and with as little damage as possible,” said Fraser.
Almost a week later, Fraser said he still can’t get over the feeling. “I almost had an out-of-body experience where it’s weird to say this, but I wasn’t sitting in the seat, I was above the aircraft, and I could see everything. That’s what probably saved me is that I was able to not focus on the one thing.”
On Wednesday, after the necessary repairs were made, the plane took off using US-19 in North Carolina as a runway once again.
Fraser said he is going to take a break from flying, but said it won’t last long.