Pilot Chooses Not-So-Busy Interstate 180 for Emergency Landing

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
A private aircraft carrying lawyers from Iowa made an emergency landing at about 6 p.m. Tuesday on Interstate 180, the four-lane spur leading southward from Interstate 80 to Hennepin.

They were on their way from Newton, Iowa to Lorain, Ohio.

The lawyers were on a business trip, but one of the lawyers is a student of the pilot, Danik Kumar.

Kumar, 23, said has been flying since he was 15 and got his pilot’s license when he was 17.

He said the plane lost power but not all power, and then it lost oil pressure. He called Chicago and declared an emergency. He was told to divert to Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, but then the engine seized, the oil shot out and the propeller stopped.

“I initially looked at Interstate 80,” Kumar said, but there was too much traffic.

Then he saw 180 and he initially thought it was closed because there was no traffic on it.

He said he lined up the plane according to the wind, maintained speed while gliding in and the plane smoothly landed pointing north in the northbound lanes.

“It went perfectly according to plan,” he said of the emergency landing.

He said the plan Tuesday evening was to tow the plane to Peru, and then “they will hitch a ride to Cleveland.”

“I will probably take off a few days to process what happened, but I will be right back flying again,” said Kumar, who works for and was flying the plane for an aviation firm in Ohio. “I’ve never really been in this type of situation before but I hope the insurance helps out.”

State police remained on the scene and kept just one lane of Interstate 180 closed until a wrecker could remove the aircraft.

Source: News Tribune