SUMMIT PARK, Utah (AP) — A novice pilot from Idaho safely landed his small airplane on a Utah interstate after its engine failed midflight.
Jackson Walker of Idaho Falls was flying with a friend to Provo when the single-engine aircraft’s oil pressure dropped about an hour and a half into the Saturday night flight, the Deseret News reported.
He began looking for an alternate landing strip when the engine seized up. Walker realized he wouldn’t make it to an airport, he said, so he brought the Cessna aircraft down on Interstate 80 east of Salt Lake City.
The landing was aided by a Good Samaritan driving on the interstate who slowed other traffic to give Walker adequate space to land, he said.
The self-described “newly minted private pilot” who started flying in June said he was nervous but stuck with the flying procedures he’d learned.
“It seemed like the rumble strip was the bumpiest part,” Walker said.
No one was injured.
Utah Highway Patrol trooper Alex Agin called it the “best-case scenario” for an aircraft making an unexpected landing on a freeway.
“It was a landing; it’s not a crash,” he said.