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Flight instructor, student make daring emergency landing on California highway


(LOS ANGELES) — A flight instructor was forced to make a daring emergency landing on a busy freeway near Los Angeles on Memorial Day after reporting engine problems with his small plane during a lesson with a student pilot, authorities said.

The aviation scare occurred around 7 p.m. on the 101 Freeway near Agoura Hills and miraculously ended with no injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“The officer in command was able to take over and safely land the plane,” CHP officer Craig Martin said at a news conference near the scene of the landing.

Martin said the flight instructor, whose name was not immediately released, made a mayday call shortly after taking off from the Camarillo Airport, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. Air traffic controllers at the Van Nuys Airport relayed the mayday call to the Los Angeles police and fire departments.

CHP officers created space for the emergency landing by slowing down traffic and transforming lanes on one side of the 101 Freeway into an impromptu runway, Martin said.

“The only thing we got was that the pilot was coming down low and fast, so we were able to get officers to slow down traffic,” Martin said.

The single-engine Cessna landed safely and intact in the cleared southbound lanes of the freeway and the pilot and student walked away without a scratch, Martin said.

CHP officers and firefighters pushed the plane off the freeway via an off-ramp as traffic came to a standstill.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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