A Nazi Plane Lands on a Georgia Highway

nazi planes
Two German World War II Junkers Ju-52 planes stand on the tarmac after landing at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport during the production of the film "Valkyrie" on July 19, 2007. This is not the plane that landed on a highway in Georgia. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

A small plane landed on a highway in Georgia Monday, which, in and of itself, is a relatively interesting piece of news—although incidents (crashes or otherwise) involving small planes aren't exceptionally uncommon. But this plane was especially noteworthy for one major reason: It sported Nazi markings.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on what seemed to be an emergency landing on Ga. 316 in Gwinnett County Monday afternoon. The Federal Aviation Administration told the paper it was an experimental Sonex aircraft with only the pilot onboard. Sonex sells kits that allow people to build their own planes. The Journal-Constitution reported that the aircraft that landed on the highway was outfitted to look like a Nazi plane used in World War II, the Messerschmitt BF 109. And if there was any doubt that the pilot was going for a Nazi look, the plane's tail featured a swastika. 

The landing on the highway apparently was executed without anyone being injured. "A small aircraft safely landed on 316 near Harbins Road. It was pulled into the median awaiting FAA response. Expect delays," tweeted the Gwinnett Police Department.

The department followed up soon after, noting that a plane with WWII markings (there was no mention that they were of the Nazi variety) was being taken back to the local airfield. 

While some might make the defense that the person who slapped a swastika on the aircraft was going for historical accuracy, that might not be the best argument. Kelsey Atherton, a defense technology reporter at Popular Science, pointed out on Twitter that the Sonex craft that landed on the Georgia highway didn't look all that much like a Messerschmitt BF 109. 

"Going for historical accuracy in the paint is an odd defense when the plane it's trying to mimic looks way different," Atherton tweeted while posting photos of the two aircraft side by side.